Posts Tagged liverpool
The last few days have been nicely busy. Open Eye Gallery opened their new building on Liverpool’s Waterfront to a press launch, a launch party, and a breakfast talk with Mitch Epstein that I recorded. Mitch’s work, American Power is being exhibited alongside The Pleasure Principle, by Chris Steele-Perkins.
I’ll be reviewing the launch on ST84Photo tomorrow. But, for now, I’m sharing a few images from the Launch Party night.
Just got in from hanging the prints by Austrian/German Street Photography Collective, Seconds2Real.
This exhibition of Seconds2Real Street Photography Collective prints is at Bold Street Coffee until mid-July, check it out over a coffee while you can!
Seconds2Real are an Austrian/German collective.
Bold Street Coffee Opening Times:
And now, for the photos…
(That’s me, doing some hanging. Those are my “techy clothes” and baggy for grooving to the photo goodness while being all techy and stuff:
You can read Part I here.
After a quick coffee and lunch, we reconvened at Novas CUC for the afternoon of the LCC seminar: talks by Paul Lowe (LCC), Mishka Henner, and Dr. Jennifer PollardDr. jennifer Pollard (LCC), and a roundtable discussion that also included John Davies.
This “talks and discussion” session was scheduled to be broadcast as a live webinar, with input from a global audience. But this wasn’t to be. I believe the politically astute term for this scenario may well be “technical glitch”. I also believe the politically not very astute gesture for this may well be a faux-shock gaping mouth and a finger pointing directly at the LCC MA Course Director. Hi Paul. Got my MA application, yet? Just checking.
To be fair, it was more that the venue had a very weak wifi signal, a fact known to ex-musical heathens like myself, from days spent practicing in the adjoining rehearsal rooms of Elevator Studios. But I was surprised that neither the venue nor the Look11 team seemed to have sought a workaround for this event, or to inform the LCC of this issue. I’m not sure who really dropped the ball here, but it was a fairly rookie mistake from someone or, more likely, several.
Lowe’s talk could be described as a Rough Guide to Conflict Photography History. I mean no insult there; as a relative newcomer to looking at conflict photography beyond the pages and webpages of the broadsheets, it was a very useful introduction to the debate, and I culled much in the way of notes for future reference.
Lowe’s argument was essentially that rather than there being a supposedly fairly recent trend of making a different form of conflict photography in response to photojournalistic efforts, photographers had been doing this all along. It wasn’t something that started with Paul Seawright and contemporaries (see here for more), but rather has it’s roots as early as the days of Stanley Green, who was experimenting at the start of the 20th Century with this notion of alternative story-telling, using metaphor and allegory to photograph the unphotographable (to quote that threadbare phrase).
He elaborates that while an increasing number of photojournalists are taking cues from the fine art world in how they make and present their work, we ought not to pass over the icons of classic photojournalims, like Green and Robert Capa, who frequently did find alternative ways to document what they witnessed.
That said, he noted that photojournalism trails behind fine art practice in adopting new techniques and methods of portrayal, leading me to question both why this is, and whether it will continue as the distribution media for classic photojournalism continues to weaken and new channels of distribution are created and experimented with. It seems to me that experimentation and reiterative processes are key to fostering creativity, and with a distribution media either in collapse or in flux (depending on the strength of view you take regarding the rise of the mount olympus of social media), the time is ripe for some truly innovative work to be produced. I think we may have yet to see that work be made, but I do wonder if, how, and when it might happen.
He also shared a few variations on The Capa Quote™ (note: quote must be uttered with defiant tone) “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”
Joel Sternfeld: If your pictures aren’t good enough, then you’re too close.
Todd Pappageorge: If your pictures aren’t good enough, then you’re not reading enough.
This sums up a move away from the literal into the metaphoric, a move perhaps most strongly demonstrated in the work of Paul Seawright, Simon Norfolk, and in Broomberg and Chanarin’s The Day Nobody Died (links in Part I of this review).
To conclude his talk, Lowe argued that instead of judging this style of work based on individual pieces or even individual photographers, we would be better off viewing it as a collective narrative that provides a sustained and complex response to the too-frequently seen classic photojournalistic images of conflict that blinds us emotionally by saturation of imagery to the reality of the situation they set out so earnestly to depict. As Lowe said later, “the problem isn’t in the presence of certain kinds of images [classic photojournalism] but in the absence of certain other kinds of images [the more allegorical and metaphorical style discussed in his talk].” Conflicts, and their effects, run too deep for a solely surface appearance of them to suffice in documenting their true nature.
Edit – struggling to find the relevant links for the rest of this post and must dash for work. Shall finish up later tonight.
Seconds2Real European Street Photography Collective are exhibiting work at Bold Street Coffee, Liverpool, from 15th June until 13th July, 2011.
To celebrate the exhibition, ST84Photo blog will be bringing you exclusive interviews and images with the photographers running throughout the exhibition. ST84Photo will also be documenting the installation and opening of the exhibition, to give those of you who can’t make it in person a taste of the brilliant atmosphere and images on display.
To get the ball rolling, this post would like to introduce the cast of exhibiting photographers:
Kay von Aspern – Vienna
Elisabeth Schuh – Vienna
Guido Steenkamp – Berlin
Thorsten Strasas – Berlin
Natalie Opocensky – Vienna
Alexander Magedler – Vienna
Heiko Menze – Vienna
Mario Cuic – Munich
Christian Reister – Berlin
Andreas Stelter – Minden
Locations were the images were made are:
The time frame the images were made during is:
Interviews will be coming to ST84Photo blog soon, so watch this space!
Update: Interviews with the Seconds2Real photographers will start appearing on ST84Photo from Thursday 16th June, 2011, so watch this space!
His talk was on how to run an independent gallery, and he gave everyone present some great insight into how Third Floor Gallery was founded, and how they have managed to put on an absolutely top draw programme of exhibitions throughout 2010 despite receiving no Arts Council funding, and relying on small donations by visitors and supporters of the Gallery, with additional support from sponsors such as University of Wales, Newport
Joni is an excellent speaker, very relaxed and fun in his presentation, while still giving his audience a lot of information and food for thought. The event was well-attended and very well received, with drinks in The Dispensary afterwards, too. Let’s hope his inspiring talk prompts photographers in the North West to consider taking a lead from the great work done by Third Floor Gallery to further boost the wider programme of quality photographic events in the North West.
Joni, I raise my glass to you mate; job very well done. 🙂