British Photography Is Still Revolting

ST84Photo Museum
ST84Photo Museum in Liverpool has had difficulty raising money for its new Location-Non-Dependent project.*

As I wrote in the ST84Photo on Sunday, Britain’s photography scene finally seems to be catching up with the US.

It is currently in the stage of “shouting as loudly as possible about minor advancements in London, while generally ignoring anything that happens outside of London or, just as importantly, anything that happens online”. It is a stage the US entered (re New York, mutatis mutandis**) roughly 30 years ago. What progress we’ve made.

That ST84Photo article was in response to one posted by Sean O’Hagan on the Observer/Guardian website. Today, he’s added a new post all about the immensely crucial topic of two London galleries (including the largest photo gallery in the UK) having to slightly scale back the size of their (expanded) galleries and exhibitions.

I don’t want to sound like I’ve been drinking some Observer/Guardian Haterade here, but isn’t this kind of photography discussion, well, excruciatingly dull? I mean, when there are projects like this, this, and this happening?

Or when there are other cool things to talk about, like Troika Editions opting to use their popular website to promote the work they find during portfolio reviews but don’t necessarily have resources to feature onsite?

Just as some examples. I’m sure there are more and better examples. I’m being lazy here. Because it’s so damn easy to be lazy and still come up with content more interesting than the couple of cubic inches the largest UK photo gallery has lost, and the horrific ramifications of precisely how fewer interns they’ll be able to fit into the new space as a result.

If the most interesting things happening in the UK photography scene at the moment consist of the Tate awarding photography the qualification of “art form” by hiring a photography curator (please note: this qualification has yet to be ratified formally by UCAS), and The Photographers’ Gallery losing a small amount of space, I think it’s high time that we just give up on the whole photographic enterprise altogether.

*Please note: This image is not of ST84Photo Museum.

**If you aren’t acquainted with the term, mutatis mutandis, please become so! It makes me think of the Lion King…

ST84Photo Disclaimer: Despite all this ranting, you can fully expect me to reporting both in depth and probably in celebration on the opening of Open Eye Gallery this week.

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