London has always been an Arts and Culture capital, if not the Arts & Culture capital. With the influx of blockbuster film productions into the UK over the last couple of years London is enjoying an unprecedented film boom and now it seems that photography is going to get a similar boost with Photo London heralding the call as it opens London's first annual Photo Week.
If you are not as yet aware of Photo London as yet it is a four day event supported by the Luma Foundation, running over 21 - 24 May 2015 with an exciting line-up of commissioned exhibitions, live events and public installations featuring leading artists taking place at Somerset House and around the city, effectively spearheading the capital’s first ‘Photo Week’
As London’s first international photography fair, it aims to harness the passionate, growing audience for photography in the city and nurture a new generation of collectors. Hopefully collectors will be able to pick up some hard to find pieces at Somerset House during Photo London.
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We got to hear first-hand some eagerly awaited and surprising information about the Photo London 2015 programme - also the presentation took place at The Radio Rooftop Bar at the gorgeous London ME Hotel, presumably chosen as the ME London Hotel is absolutely stunning, is one of the Photo London partner hotels and is also perched high above London offering incredible views over London as well as a birds eye view of what is surely one of the most underrated and iconic architectural wonders of London - Somerset House - hidden in plain site.
|The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED - VIEW ABOVE SOMERSET HOUSE FROM THE RADIO ROOFTOP BAR, LONDON ME HOTEL|
|The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED - RADIO ROOFTOP BAR, LONDON ME HOTEL|
|The Establishing Shot: PHOTOGRAPHER STEVE BANKS & TASCHEN'S MARK BEST AT THE PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCEMENT AT THE RADIO ROOFTOP BAR, LONDON ME HOTEL|
|The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED - MOODY EAST LONDON SKYLINE FROM RADIO ROOFTOP BAR, LONDON ME HOTEL|
|The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED - JONATHAN REEKIE, DIRECTOR OF SOMERSET HOUSE, FARIBA FARSHAD & MICHAEL BENSON CO-DIRECTORS OF PHOTO LONDON AT RADIO ROOFTOP BAR, LONDON ME HOTEL|
|Photo London 2015 Public Programme announced Michael Benson co-director of Photo London gives an introduction © @CamronPR|
...Our vision is to create an outstanding international photography fair at Somerset House...
...Thanks to the support of the Maja Hoffman's Luma Foundation we have been able to create an incredibly rich public programme that features three specially commissioned exhibitions, performances, installations and talks programme curated in partnership with our long-time collaborator Professor Francis Hodgson. I'm thrilled that our speakers include:
Don McCullin, Susan Derges, Todd Hido, Mitch Epstein, Rineke Djkstra, Rankin, Stephen Shore and Sebastião Salgado – more about him later.
I'm also thrilled to report that Photo London is going underground on four nights during Photo London in the extraordinary Deadhouse space under the Grand Courtyard we'll present a series of collaborations between DJs and photographers. Production partners for this include: Rinse FM, Channel 1 working with imagery from photographers Bill Bernstein, Beth Lesser and others....
… we have been fortunate enough to have the support of an extraordinary number of galleries from around the world and now we believe we have a public programme to match...
… having banged on about our great partners and support we thought you would like to hear from a few on them in person this morning, but before we do that a quick word about three that could not be here this morning.
Our exhibition programme includes:
KĀVEH GOLESTĀN: PROSTITUTE SERIES
The first UK exhibition of the late Iranian documentary photographer’s portraits taken between 1975–77 in the Citadel of Shahr e No (New Town), Tehran’s red light district, a walled ghetto where 1,500 women lived and worked. The Citadel was set on fire a few weeks before the victory of the revolution in 1979 (with an undisclosed number of residents trapped inside) and then demolished shortly after through an official decree. Golestan’s portraits are the last extant photographic record of the residents of the Citadel. Whether ravishing beauties or distressingly abused individuals, Golestan’s Prostitute series constitutes one of the most striking visual studies of femaleness produced in Iran.
Curated by Vali Mahlouji, who is also working on another exhibition for another part of the Golestan archive which will be on display at The Whitechapel Gallery during Photo London.
The exhibition is a Photo London commission, and will be accessible with a Photo London ticket. Embankment Galleries West, 21–24 May
SEBASTIÃO SALGADO: MASTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY, LECTURE & UNSEEN GENESIS SERIES
Sebastião Salgado has agreed to become the first Photo London Master of Photography an annual award that we will award to outstanding practitioners at the opening of the fair each year. As well as a special lecture, Salgado has agreed to exhibit a small selection of previously unseen large-format platinum prints from Sebastião Salgado’s iconic Genesis series.
These shows will join a great exhibition from the V&A that Martin Barnes has curated in the Embankment Galleries. The Embankment will be an important entrance to Photo London as visitors arriving will be greeted by a live installation of a huge London diorama by the Japanese photographer Sohei Nishino.
And now on to some actual partners:
|The Establishing Shot: JONATHAN REEKIE, DIRECTOR OF SOMERSET HOUSE INTRODUCES THE PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME AT RADIO ROOFTOP BAR, LONDON ME HOTEL|
We are absolutely thrilled and proud that Photo London has chosen Somerset House as its home. As a major centre for contemporary culture we feel Photo London absolutely belongs at Somerset House not least because we have a proud history of doing photography shows... like Tim Walker and most recently Guy Bourdin.
We are really pleased that the wonderful V&A show Beneath the Surface which is a central part of Photo London is going to be able to stay on at Somerset House through the Summer. Martin is going to say a few words about that...
|Photo London 2015 Public Programme announced - Martin Barnes, Senior Curator Of Photographs At The V&A Museum introduces the Beneath the Surface exhibition at Radio Rooftop Bar, London ME Hotel © @CamronPR|
The Victoria and Albert Museum started collecting photographs in 1852 making it the the first museum in the world to do so and the V&A had the first photography exhibition in any museum in the world in 1858.
So the V&A Collection is huge with millions of photographs. One of the drivers behind this is the opportunity to show some of the depth of the Collections that we have not even shown at the V&A.
The metaphor and idea of “beneath the surface” is a guiding principle of the exhibition... I was standing in the Embankment Galleries and thought the space is amazing but deeper than that we are at river level and there is a metaphor about looking at the surface of the river and plumbing the depths of both an archive and the city
I have been at the V&A for twenty years and know the Collection quite well, including what has not been exhibited before. There are about 200 photographs in the exhibition over half of the photographs are by British photographers and there is a good mix of historical and contemporary works. Things we have never shown before may be works we acquired as recently as last week and not been able to put up an a wall yet as well as works made in the 1850s and 60s. So you'll see a wide range of wonderful imagery on display. This is really an opportunity to show the hidden depths to the collection.
The guiding principle of the title is to focus on the overlooked, hidden and things that have now vanished.
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM AND PHOTO LONDON: BENEATH THE SURFACE
This selection reflects the exhibition’s river front location in one of London’s most ancient quarters, focussing on images of water, the topography of the city and the people within it. Drawn from a collection that dates back to 1852, these rarely-displayed photographs have been chosen by Martin Barnes, the V&A’s Senior Curator of Photographs, and include works by Susan Derges, Nigel Shafran, Sinje Dillenkofer, Stephen Gill, Robert Brownjohn, Victor Prout, Thurston Hopkins and Brassaï, among others.
The exhibition is a Photo London commission, and will be accessible with a Photo London ticket for the duration of the fair. After the fair, tickets for the exhibition can be purchased through Somerset House from 27 March at www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/beneath-the-surface Embankment Galleries East, 21 May – 24 August
|The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED - SOMERSET HOUSE OVERVIEW FROM RADIO ROOFTOP BAR, LONDON ME HOTEL|
|The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED - SHELL MEX HOUSE & SOUTH WEST LONDON SKYLINE FROM THE RADIO ROOFTOP BAR, LONDON ME HOTEL|
One of the other things we need to do is to work with the architecture of Somerset House and work with it in a way that is best for photography. We had all sorts of crazy ideas around building massive and highly expensive structures in the courtyard until we realised that actually we didn't have to do any of that - so instead we invited Mz. Luxemburg to do an installation – which she'll tell you all about.
|Photo London 2015 Public Programme announced - Artist Rut Blees Luxemburg introduces The Teaser and The Academic Year Exhibition at Radio Rooftop Bar, London ME Hotel © @CamronPR|
I am an artist working with photography I am also an educator working at The Royal College of London in a Photography programme teaching young photographers as a reader in Urban Aesthetics. The city is my subject, especially London which I have been investigating in my photographic work of the last twenty years.
When this opportunity came about, it was clear to us that we also wanted to focus on London. At the moment this city is undergoing immense transformation and it is mostly manifested in the architecture – so something I can have a visual relationship with.
My project is 10 lightboxes which tell a story, the story is one of London but also of Love and it comes from this book called the Academic Year, which is a love story. It all takes place in this city, which becomes almost indifferent. The city provides the backdrop to the story.
The lightbox cubes are 1 metre high show different parts of the story combined with slices of the text, so they work as a teaser for the book. I as a photographer am very interested in the relationship between image and text and what text does to an image and how one creates another meaning between the photograph and text. This is what this installation is trying to do, as well as give the opportunity to the viewer to circulate the work, almost like walking in the book. It is truly experimental.
RUT BLEES LUXEMBURG: THE TEASER
With text by Alexander García Düttmann
Arranged around the public courtyard of Somerset House, 10 lightbox cubes and 20 framed lights will show photographs by Rut Blees Luxemburg that illustrate an urban ‘love story’ overlaid with text by philosopher Alexander García Düttmann.
From 12 pm - 4pm on Saturday 23 May, the installation will become the set for a performance reading of Blees Luxemburg and García Düttmann’s collaborative publication The Academic Year, in association with SPBH Editions.
The outdoor lightboxes form part of a European outdoor art project by Procur.arte. Rut Blees Luxemburg: The Teaser is part of Photo London’s public programme. Somerset House Courtyard, 21-24 May
|The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED MICHAEL BENSON CO-DIRECTOR OF PHOTO LONDON, ARTIST RUT BLEES LUXEMBURG & MARTIN BARNES, SENIOR CURATOR OF PHOTOGRAPHS AT THE V&A MUSEUM AT THE RADIO ROOFTOP BAR, LONDON ME HOTEL|
|Photo London 2015 Public Programme announced at Radio Rooftop Bar, London ME Hotel © @CamronPR|
|The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED - MOODY AND GHOSTS OF THE CITY SOUTH EAST LONDON SKYLINE FROM RADIO ROOFTOP BAR, LONDON ME HOTEL|
|The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED - LOOKING EAST FROM THE RADIO ROOFTOP BAR, LONDON ME HOTEL|
For more information about Photo London, Exhibitors, the full programme and tickets head over to:
Photo London 2015
Photo London is a unique photography event. It will feature a major international photography fair for up to 70 exhibitors including the world’s leading photography galleries and publishers, alongside an innovative public programme supported by the LUMA Foundation. Photo London will showcase the broad range of photographic practice – from vintage to contemporary – and is produced by Candlestar, an internationally renowned cultural consultancy with an outstanding reputation within the field of photography and the arts.
21 - 22 May, 12pm - 7.30pm
23 - 24 May, 12pm - 6pm
Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA
The Establishing Shot: PHOTO LONDON 2015 UNVEILS ITS PUBLIC PROGRAMME & SOME SURPRISES: UPCOMING PHOTO EXHIBITION
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