Australian photographer Rob Walwyn is hosting the first exhibition of his project ‘Karrikins’ as part of Sydney’s Head On Photo Festival. Karrikins documents the aftermath of the bushfires that devastated Australia’s east coast in late 2019 and early 2020. What makes Walwyn’s images even more stunning is his use of Kodak’s discontinued false-color infrared film Aerochrome.
Apocalyptic scenes of the 2019-2020 bushfire season made news around the world as vast swathes of the east coast of Australia burned. The bushfires claimed more than 72,000 square miles of land, destroyed over 5,900 buildings, and most tragically, 34 people lost their lives. The devastation was not confined to human lives either — it’s been estimated that the bushfires killed more than three billion living creatures. Yes, that’s right, three billion.
In the aftermath of the bushfires, Sydney film photographer Rob Walwyn headed to different parts of New South Wales to capture the devastation and the regrowth that occurred soon after the bushfires. He decided to photograph what he saw using one of the few rolls of Kodak’s Aerochrome film he owned at the time.
I’d be lying if I said that the decision to shoot that first roll of Aerochrome on the bushfire regrowth was anything but an aesthetic choice. I was hoping that bright green new regrowth snaking up the trees would look beautiful on Aerochrome. It was only after I got the first rollback and received some feedback on the images that I thought this could make a really special project.
Kodak Aerochrome film is a false-color infrared film developed by Kodak in tandem with the US Military during World War Two. Originally, it was designed for aerial photography with forestry, cartography, and industrial and military applications, such as detecting enemy camouflage. With Walwyn’s Karrikins project, Kodak Aerochrome has been used with stunning results to document post-bushfire regrowth.
“Aerochrome captures the infrared light reflecting off the regrowth in lurid shades of pink and red, contrasting against the burnt and blackened trees, evoking images of the flickering flames that crept up these trees only months earlier,” explains Walwyn.
On his first roll, he captured what he believes to be the iconic image of the series: Karrikins #1. The image shows the blackened trunks of trees, which contrasts perfectly with the bright pink regrowth of new leaves. Buoyed by this image and the encouraging results of this first roll, the Karrikins project was born.
The name of the project is a nod to the bushfire regrowth Walwyn documented through his photographs:
I studied Chemistry at Uni and when I came to read about the family of molecules known as karrikins (with etymology deriving from an Aboriginal word for smoke), that are produced during bushfires and can lead to the germination of dormant seeds of a variety of different plant species. I knew I had found the perfect name for my series.
Since that first roll of Aerochrome, Walwyn has documented the regrowth of the bush on more than 20 rolls of precious infrared film. Shooting both 120 and 35mm film, his cameras of choice have been the Pentax 67II, Mamiya 645, and Fuji TX-2 (Xpan). During my discussion with Walwyn, he talked me through some of his favorite images below.
Karrikins #1 was from his first-ever roll of Aerochrome taken in Bilpin in the Blue Mountains in March 2020. It was the first image he posted on social media shot on Aerochrome.
The response and feedback was incredible, not just in terms of the number of likes and comments this image got, which were orders of magnitude more than an average post, but also the number of people I had messaging me asking about prints and to find out more about this film. The fact that I took this image, which is the archetypal photo of this series, on my first roll, makes it even more special to me. This image is taken on the side of Bells Line of Road, an area that was particularly devastated by the 2019-20 bushfires.
Karrikins #8 was shot in the Blue Mountains in January 2021. At first glance, this photo may not look special, pictured is an extremely rare pink flannel flower (Actinotus forsythii). The pink flannel flower can only be found in scattered parts of eastern Australia, from the Blue Mountains to northeastern Victoria.
This flower is not endangered as a species; however, they appear so infrequently that many bushwalkers have never seen them. The flowers favor heath and open forest areas at altitudes.
The seeds can lay dormant for years on end, waiting for a special confluence of events forming the right conditions for their emergence – a year or so after bushfire followed by rainfall, which is exactly what the flower’s home turf experienced last year. When I saw pictures of these rare flowers popping up on social media, I knew it would be a perfect subject to shoot on Aerochrome for my series.
Karrikins #14 is another of Rob’s favorite images of the series to date.
This image was taken in September 2020 in Yaouk in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales. Only seconds after I took the photo, the light finally broke through this otherwise cloudy and rainy day and perfectly illuminated the scene with beautiful light and a nice rainbow as well – of course, I missed these beautiful lighting conditions as this was the last shot on the roll, but perhaps the cows wouldn’t have been lined up and staring at the camera moments later, so maybe it all worked out for the best anyway.
Finally, I asked Walwyn to tell me about my favorite image of the series. It shows a group of young people taking selfies and having fun in a swimming pool, while the haunting pink regrowth and blackened trees loom large behind them.
That’s also from the Snowy Mountains, from the same trip as the cow shot. The swimming pool is thermal – naturally 26 degrees all year round. It must be pretty nice to visit the pool in winter when it’s freezing. I saw an image of this pool on social media and the fact that it had these beautiful trees in the background and the mountains were ravaged by bushfires, contrasting with people frolicking in the pool and having fun, that’s what made this image special for me.
Visit the Karrikins Exhibition
These are just some of the hundreds of stunning infrared photos Walwyn has taken using Aerochrome for the Karrikins project. He has meticulously whittled down the images to just 17 for his first exhibition ‘Karrikins’ taking place from November 24-28 at the Barometer Gallery in Paddington, Sydney. The exhibition is part of Sydney’s Head On Photo Festival, which is taking place at dozens of galleries and outdoor spaces across the Emerald City until November 28. The festival also features workshops and panel discussions.
One of the best photography exhibitions in London at the moment is Performance by Rankin, a free show being held at the Fujifilm House of Photography in Covent Garden. It’s a collection of portraits of various actors, directors and technical/support staff from London’s theatreland, and really captures the resilience and vibrancy of this vital cultural asset. We caught up with Rankin to find out more
Rankin shooting Performance
How did you get involved in the Performance project and whose idea was it? A friend of mine came up with the idea before the pandemic hit. At the time I said to him, “this is far too big and complicated.” But when the pandemic hit and we saw all of our friends go out of work, that’s when we felt that it was the right moment to start thinking about it again.
Once all the theatres looked like they were coming back to life, we started planning the shoots.
Alfred Enoch as Romeo at Shakespeare’s Globe, credit Rankin
How did you choose which actors/subjects to cover? To make this project happen, we were supported by the Society of London Centre. Emma DeSouza was our contact there and she really helped put it together, including choosing the productions, actors and the support teams.
You have done a lot of portrait work with actors before, right? I’m a massive film and theatre fan so yes, I’ve been photographing actors for years. For example, I also did a whole project with the British Independent Film Awards back in 2014, where I photographed over 50 actors, directors and producers in celebration of the immense talent in British filmmaking.
Emmie Ray and Carl Man, Ensemble Members in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre (c) Rankin
What makes theatre and all the creative industries so compelling for me is that it is always a team effort. You have to collaborate. To make theatre, photography and film really work, we have to do things in real life. We can’t do them virtually. The exhibition and the show are a celebration of that concept.
It’s so critically important for us to experience performance in real life, and be inspired by it.
Paul Whitehouse in Only Fools and Horses: The Musical, at The Haymarket. Credit Rankin
Was it a lot of pressure to complete the shoot and print the images so quickly, in just one day? It must have been a very long shift… It wasn’t too bad actually. Half the fun of it was making it with that much pressure. The energy you get from making work that fast is so exciting, and it’s like bottling some kind of spirit.
For me the experience was quite emotional. Although I wasn’t entirely locked down for the last year and a half my work has definitely been different, more contemplative.
It was just amazing for me to meet and photograph the energy of all of these incredible people who have suffered so much.
David Harewood as William F Buckley Jr. in Best of Enemies at the Young Vic. Credit Rankin
Which are your favourite images, and why? My favourites are the pictures where the actors or support teams are being more playful with the camera.
I love it when the images are slightly cheeky, for example the image of Mary Poppins and Bert. As a character he would never kiss Mary Poppins in a million years, so it’s quite fun to play with that.
Also the images of Nathaniel Parker as Henry VIII and Rosanna Adams as Anna of Cleves in the Mirror and the Light. Those characters would never engage in that way either, but we could play with their relationship in front of the camera.
During the shoots I laughed at the time because I felt like a modern day Holbein, capturing the full range of emotions.
Gabrielle Brooks as Rita Marley and Arinzé Kene as Bob Marley in Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical at the Lyric Theatre. Credit Rankin
Was this the first time you’d shot on Fujifilm GFX100 camera gear and if so, did it take some getting used to?
Amazingly enough it was my first experience with the camera. It didn’t really take that much getting used to, as I’ve been taking photographs for 30 years. The technology has obviously got better, but the basics are the same. I can definitely say that it’s a good piece of kit!
So what did you like best about the camera? I have to say this is one of the fastest – a camera that could keep up with me, Also a lot of super high-res-capture cameras can freeze when you’re shooting at the speed and volume necessary for this project, but the GFX was on top form the whole time. I was shooting very, very fast.
I love the studio and team at the Fujifilm House of Photography on Long Acre and will certainly be working with them as much as I can.
Stephanie Lo, Lioness and DanceCaptain in-Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre. Credit Rankin
The images are wonderfully rich, detailed and sharp. Which were your favourite lenses? The wide-angle lens was my favourite. It’s got a very close focal point which meant I could get extremely tight into my subjects.
That kind of intimacy is something that I love to do because you really feel the subjects looking through the lens at the viewer.
Rory Kinnear in Force Majeure at The Donmar Warehouse, credit Rankin
Was much post-shoot processing required? Hardly any at all.
Were there any ‘archive’ shots used? No, there wasn’t any archive imagery used – everything was shot for the exhibition and book.
Further reading ” I don’t want to be the Simon Cowell of photography:” Rankin
A new major exhibition, Prix Pictet: Fire, presenting work by 13 international photographers will open at the Victoria and Albert Museum this December.
Twelve series of powerful photographs by 13 international photographers exploring the topical theme of ‘fire’ will be presented in the exhibition Prix Pictet: Fire at the V&A, London, 16 December 2021 – 9 January 2022.
The exhibition will showcase the world-class photography shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Prix Pictet, the global award with a unique commitment to promoting discussion and debate on issues of sustainability and the environment.
The bodies of work shortlisted for the prize draw their inspiration from both major global events and personal experiences. The photographic images span documentary, portraiture, landscape, collage and studies of light and process. The shortlisted photographers are based in five continents across the world.
The exhibition features established names such as Sally Mann, who documented the vast wildfires and thick smoke that consumed the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia during her visit in 2008, and Rinko Kawauchi, who photographed firework displays throughout Japan every summer from 1997-2001.
They are joined by young and emerging names in photography, including David Uzochukwu, whose portraiture series In The Wake is set within an unknown landscape on fire, and Fabrice Monteiro, whose series The Prophecy addresses worldwide pollution through staged photographs of figures in costumes made of trash and natural materials.
The award of 100,000 Swiss Francs (USD108,000, €91,000) will be announced on Wednesday 15 December 2021. We share the shortlisted photographers below.
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige are known for their long-term research projects based on personal or political documents, with a focus on secret histories, such as the disappearances during the Lebanese Civil War and a forgotten space project from the 1960s. Their artworks create thematic and formal links between photography, video, performance, installation and cinema.
They are held in major private and public collections and have been presented in solo and group exhibitions in institutions around the world, such as Jeu de Paume (Paris), Guggenheim (New York), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Sharjah Art Foundation (UAE), MOMA (New York), Red Brick Art Museum (Beijing), Tate Modern (London). Together, they have directed numerous films shown in major international festivals.
Wonder Beirut is an ongoing project based on a series of postcards from the 1960s and 1970s which are still on sale in Lebanese bookshops today, even though the places they depict were destroyed or altered in the bombardments or in subsequent reconstruction programmes. The artists created a fictional character: photographer Abdallah Farah who supposedly took photographs that were used to produce these postcards – and then burned them himself to record the impact of street battles during the Lebanese civil wars.
Rinko Kawauchi was born in 1972 in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, and now lives and works in Tokyo. In 2001, she simultaneously released a series of three photographic books published by Little More, and in 2002 she was awarded the prestigious 27th Kimura Ihei Award. Other awards include the eminent Infinity Award by the International Center of Photography in 2009, the 63rd Ministry of Cultural Affairs Newcomer of the Year award in 2012, and the 29th Shashin no Machi Higashigawa Native Japanese Artist Award in 2012.
Kawauchi has exhibited in a multitude of group and solo exhibitions both within Japan and all over the world. Solo exhibitions include: Foundation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, Paris (2005); The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2006); Hasselblad Centre, Göteborg, Sweden (2007); Semear at Museu de Arte Moderna de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2007); and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (2012).
Between 1997 and 2001, when Kawauchi was living alone in Tokyo and in the process of making her earliest works, she photographed fireworks every summer. Hanabi is a collection of photographs representing this body of work.
Sally Mann is known for her photographs of intimate and familiar subjects rendered both sublime and disquieting. Born in Lexington, Virginia, Mann began studying photography in the 1960s, attending Ansel Adams Gallery’s workshops in Yosemite National Park, and Putney School and Bennington College, both in Vermont.
She received a BA from Hollins College, Virginia, as well as an MA in creative writing. A Thousand Crossings, Mann’s recent exhibition, explores the identity of the American South and Mann’s relationship with her place of origin. It debuted at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC in 2018 and travelled extensively.
In 2001, Mann was named “America’s Best Photographer” by Time magazine. Mann’s Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs (Little, Brown, 2015) received critical acclaim; it was named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Awards and won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.
For her series Blackwater, Mann explored the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia, documenting the vast fires and thick smoke that consumed the swap during her visit and which seemed to epitomise the great fire of racial strife in America.
Christian Marclay studied at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art Visuel in Geneva from 1975–1977 and the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston from 1977–1980. Marclay’s work has been shown in museums and galleries internationally, most recently in the major solo exhibition “Compositions” at Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2019).
Other exhibitions have been held at Kunsthaus, Zurich (1997), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2001), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2002), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2010), Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau (2015) and Sapporo Art Museum (2017). Marclay received the Golden Lion award for best artist at the 54th Venice Biennale for his 24-hour virtuosic video piece, The Clock, which was first shown at White Cube in London in 2010.
Fire is a series of photographic prints that began as small-scale collages featuring fragments from comic books, movie stills and images found on the internet. Fire, 2020, is a video animation made from paper cut-outs from comic book illustrations of fire. More than 1,500 photographs shown in rapid succession suggest a flip book, creating the illusion of a flickering fire.
Fabrice Monteiro (Belgium/Benin)
Series: The Prophecy, 2013 – 2020
Fabrice Monteiro is an Agouda, the descendant of Brazilian slaves with Portuguese names. He was born in Belgium, grew up in Benin, and now lives and works in Dakar, Senegal. Monteiro worked as a model for around a decade before becoming a photographer in 2007. Fabrice Monteiro’s images are at the intersection between photojournalism and fashion photography.
His series The Prophecy began in 2013 when Monteiro returned to Africa after several years and discovered that devastating pollution had overtaken the continent. The series was based on nine environmental problems in Senegal, including forest fires, plastic waste and oil spills, and was gradually expanded to address worldwide pollution.
This theme is personified in the photos of various figures who were inspired by West African masquerades and animism. The beautiful and distressing figures were created in collaboration with the Senegalese fashion designer Doulsy, who devised couture-like costumes made of trash and natural materials.
Lisa Oppenheim received a BA in Art and Semiotics from Brown University in 1998 and an MFA in Film/Video from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College in 2002. Oppenheim’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout Europe and the United States.
Her work is held in major museum collections such as the Guggenheim Museum; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, among others.
In 2014, she won both the Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography awarded by the Israel Museum and the The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize awarded by the Art Gallery of Ontario. Solo exhibitions have been held at MOCA Cleveland and the MCA Denver in 2017; The FRAC Champagne-Ardenne in Reims, France in 2015; the Kunstverein in Hamburg in 2014 and the Grazer Kunstverein in 2013.
In Oppenheim’s series Stilleben, the presence of fire is indicated by smoke even if it remains unseen. Using found images in newspapers or the internet, Oppenheim ‘reprocesses’ the photographs in the darkroom, using the light of a match to expose the negative.
Mak Remissa is regarded as one of the most successful Khmer photographers of his generation. In 1995, he graduated in Fine Art and Photography at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh. He credits his first and third place awards in the 1997 National Photojournalism competition as a major catalyst in his career.
Currently working as a photojournalist for the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA), his work is often seen on the international news wires. His 2005 fine art photography exhibition, titled “The fish eats the ant”, was shown in Phnom Penh galleries, the Angkor Photo Festival in Kobe, Japan, in 2013, and GETXOPHOTO festival 2014 in Bilbao, Spain. Remissa has exhibited his fine art photography in Cambodia, France, Canada, US, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, China, Japan, Singapore, and Myanmar.
Carla Rippey is an American artist based in Mexico City. Her work seeks to expand the margins of drawing and graphics. She works extensively from her collection of archives (images from photographs, postcards, family albums, newspapers, magazines, books and internet sources), which she translates into drawings, artist’s books and prints.
She was educated in Nebraska, La Sorbonne in Paris, The State University of New York and the University of Chile in Santiago. Rippey’s solo shows include the Museum of Modern Art, Mexico, The National University Museum “El Chopo”, the National Print Museum, the galleries Arte Mexicano and Arróniz Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City, as well as the Graphics Institute of Oaxaca, Seguela Gallery in Guangzhou, China, and the Mavi Museum in Santiago, Chile.
Her series Immolation began in 2010 with a series of artist’s books made from images of fire collected in magazines, newspapers and the internet: juxtaposing images of volcanoes and people set on fire (lynchings in Mexico), throwing fire (Palestinians) or people setting themselves on fire in acts of desperation. To make the collages, Rippey transfers photocopies to Japanese papers using solvent and an etching press.
Mark Ruwedel was born in Pennsylvania in 1954 and lives in Long Beach, California. He received his MFA from Concordia University in Montreal in 1983 and taught there from 1984 to 2001. He is currently Professor Emeritus at California State University. In 2014 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Scotiabank Photography Award, and was short-listed for the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize in 2019.
Ruwedel is represented in museums throughout the world, including the J. Paul Getty Museum; Los Angeles County Art Museum; Metropolitan Museum, New York; Yale Art Gallery; National Gallery of Art, Washington; National Gallery of Canada; Stichting Foundation, Brussels; Maison européenne de la photographie, Paris; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Ruwedel’s work was the subject of an Artists Room at Tate Modern in 2018. Recent solo exhibitions include: Large Glass, London, 2020-21; California Historical Society, San Francisco, 2019; Museum of Art and Culture of Marrakech, Morocco, 2018; and Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, CA, 2018.
LA Fires is a series of photographs selected from Ruwedel’s four-part, in-progress project titled “Los Angeles: Landscapes of Four Ecologies”. The photographs document the La Tuna fire in 2017, which is considered to be the largest in the history of the city.
Brent Stirton is a special correspondent for Getty Images and regular contributor to National Geographic magazine. Stirton specialises in documentary work, generally photographing at the intersection of man and the environment. He regularly works for Human Rights Watch, The Environment Investigation Agency and LAGA, as well as the Gates and Clinton Foundations and various UN groups.
He has received many awards, including the Overseas Press Club, The National Magazine Awards, The Peabody awards, Pictures of the Year International as well multiple awards from the World Press Photo Foundation. His photos have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Le Figaro and GQ amongst others.
Burns Capital Of The World documents young victims recovering from severe burns in India. Despite over six million people being burnt every year, India has very few burns facilities at clinics and hospitals and the best of these are very expensive.
David Uzochukwu is an Austrian and Nigerian artist. Growing up in Luxembourg and Belgium, Uzochukwu delved into self-portraiture at age thirteen, and began developing a largely digital practice. This led to vivid collaborations with artists FKA twigs and Iris van Herpen, and a commission for the World Wildlife Fund.
Their self-portrait series A FAMILIAR RUIN was included in group show Dey Your Lane! at Bozar (2016). Further exhibitions include Photo Vogue Festival (2018, 2019) and The New Black Vanguard at Rencontres d’Arles (2021). Uzochukwu was nominated for an ICP Infinity Award in 2019 and named ‘One to Watch’ by British Journal of Photography the following year. Uzochukwu’s first short film, GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, premiered at Max-Ophüls-Preis in 2021.
In The Wake is a series of portraits set within a landscape on fire. With all historic and geographic markers removed from each image, the bodies in the photographs are submerged into the landscape and removed from the confines of their social reality.
Daisuke Yokota was born in Saitama prefecture in 1983. Awards include the Grand Prix at the 2nd “1_WALL” Photography Competition in 2010, the Foam Paul Huf Award in 2016 and the 45th Kimura Ihei Photography Award in 2019. He has published numerous photography collections including MATTER/BURN OUT, VERTIGO, and Tarachine. His major exhibitions include Site/Cloud at Foam photography museum (2014) and Shape of Light at Tate Modern (2018).
Matter / Burn Out documents the burning of Yokota’s large-scale installation of photographic prints, titled ‘Matter’, at Aichi Triennial held in August 2016. This ‘burn out’ process was documented in 4,000 photographs, whereby the data was processed, manipulated and revived to form the new work titled Matter / Burn Out.
The Jury for the ninth cycle of the Prix Pictet is:
Sir David King, FRS (Chair), Founder and Chair, Centre for Climate Repair, University of Cambridge; Duncan Forbes, Head of Photography, V&A; Emma Bowkett, Director of Photography, FT WeekendMagazine; Professor Herminia Ibarra, Charles Handy Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School; Jeff Rosenheim, Joyce Frank Curator in Charge, Photographs, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Joana Choumali, Winner Prix Pictet ‘Hope’ (2019); Philippe Bertherat, President, Musée d’art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva; Shahira Fahmy, founder and Principal, Shahira Fahmy Architects, Cairo.
About Prix Pictet
The Prix Pictet award was founded by the Pictet Group in 2008. Today, it is recognised as the world’s leading prize for photography. Each cycle of the Prix Pictet tours the world, with exhibitions in over a dozen countries annually, bringing the work of the shortlisted photographers to a wide international audience.
The Prix Pictet is also published in book form, with extensive documentation of the work of each of the shortlisted photographers together with images from the wider group of nominees and essays by leading writers on the theme of the prize.
The eight previous Prix Pictet winners are Benoît Aquin (Water), Nadav Kander (Earth), Mitch Epstein (Growth), Luc Delahaye (Power), Michael Schmidt (Consumption), Valérie Belin (Disorder), Richard Mosse (Space) and Joana Choumali (Hope).
Tributes paid to Prix Pictet winner Michael Schmidt
Rankin’s historic portrait of the West End, PERFORMANCE – RankinLive x West End, launches as major free exhibition in central London, at the Fujifilm House of Photography, 3 November – 31 January.
Called PERFORMANCE, the major exhibition in the heart of London’s West End, pays tribute to the remarkable talent and resilience of the city’s theatre industry as it emerges from the pandemic shutdown.
Across nearly 150 portraits of individuals from nearly 60 top London shows and venues, visitors to the FUJIFILM House of Photography will get a comprehensive look behind the curtain at the countless highly skilled people who make up the sector – from star performers, writers, directors and producers to stage managers, dressers, pit musicians, designers, puppeteers, technicians, stage door keepers, voice coaches and many more.
Championing the best in photography, Rankin shot all images on the iconic FUJIFILM GFX100, with all images printed on FUJIFILM photographic papers on-location at the House of Photography – a central hub for creative works situated in Covent Garden, the heart of theatre-land.
This once-in-a-lifetime celebration of London’s theatreland has been produced in partnership with the Mayor of London’s #LetsDoLondon campaign and the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) as part of their #BackOnStage campaign, to inspire the public about the incredible array of live theatre on offer in the capital, and encourage them to return to the West End to sample its famous cultural offerings.
Visitors to the free exhibition will have the option to donate to the Theatre Artists Fund, which provides emergency aid to struggling theatre freelancers, as well as four London youth homelessness charities selected by the Mayor of London – Depaul, akt, Centrepoint and New Horizons Youth Centre.
Alongside the exhibition, a limited-edition book of the portraits will be launched on 25 November, with all proceeds going to the project’s chosen charities.
The portraits will be exhibited across multiple venues across central London and on train platforms across south east England – with more details to be announced soon.
Sharon Rose as Eliza in Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre (c) Rankin
Exhibition: Performance, RankinLIVE x West End Theatre Dates: 3 November 2021 – 31 January 2022 Venue: Fujifilm House of Photography, 8-9 Longacre, London WC2E 9LH Price: free (donations to nominated charities encouraged) Telephone: 020 3486 4610 Website:www.fujifilm-houseofphotography.com Stations: Leicester Square (1 min), Covent Garden (3 mins)
Photographed as part of PERFORMANCE – RankinLive x West End Theatre for a free exhibition running from 4 November until 31 January, at the FUJIFILM House of Photography
PERFORMANCE is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of theatre reborn, capturing nearly 150 onstage stars and backstage heroes from 60 of London’s top venues and shows as they reopen and begin to recover from the pandemic shutdown.
Visitors to the free exhibition will have the option to donate to the Theatre Artists Fund, which provides emergency aid to struggling theatre freelancers, as well as four London youth homelessness charities selected by the Mayor of London – Depaul, akt, Centrepoint and New Horizons Youth Centre.
Alongside the exhibition, a limited-edition book of the portraits will be launched on 25 November, with all proceeds going to the project’s chosen charities.
Images shot with the Fujifilm GFX100, 100MP medium-format camera:
(c) Rankin – Jarnéia Richard-Noel as ‘Catherine of Aragon’, Alexia McIntosh as ‘Anna of Cleves’ and Natalie Paris as ‘Jane Seymour’ from Six at the Vaudeville Theatre
The free exhibition is running from 4 November until 31 January at the FUJIFILM House of Photography, which can be found at 8-9 Long Acre, London, WC2E 9LH.
Alice Afflick-Mensah, Deputy Head of Sound for Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre
Milan-based gallery 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS is exhibiting photographs by Mario Testino. This exhibition will first show his iconic images and later, never-seen-before personal work of Testino. I spoke to Luca Casulli, the co-founder of 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery, to find out what makes Unfiltered so special to the public, collectors, and even the gallery.
Mario Testino is one of the biggest names in fashion photography. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential fashion and portrait photographers. Having captured images for Burberry, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Vogue, Versace and many more, Testino is no stranger to producing world-class artwork. His photographs have been exhibited worldwide: Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin (Undressed, 2017), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (In Your Face, 2012), the Shanghai Art Museum (Private View, 2012), and the National Portrait Gallery in London (Portraits, 2002).
A Love Affair With Italy
Mario has been working in Italy for many years and is very familiar with Milan. It was critical for his career and personal life. Mario also has a personal bond with the country, for his grandparents were from Liguria.
The idea for the exhibition came last year during the pandemic, Mario was introduced to 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS thanks to one of the greatest collectors in the world, Nicola Erni. Around that time, Mario’s book CIAO was about to be published. Ciao (Taschen 2020) celebrates Mario’s love affair with Italy and features prominent photographs for such magazines as Vogue. This book gave a spark to organizing something greater: Mario Testino’s “Unfiltered” exhibition.
Personal Side of Testino
According to Luca, the most interesting images on display are the paparazzi-style 90s black and white shots. Those were taken at parties or other events where one perhaps wouldn’t expect to be photographed. One such image is of Gianni and Donatella Versace in 1997, where Gianni is screaming. Rather than pictures related to Vogue Italy, this exhibition features images done in Italy. A great example would be the first lesbian kiss to ever be published in a magazine. Another link to Italy would be for Vogue Paris of Stephano Corsi, who is widely loved for his acting.
Why Is Testino’s Work Magical?
The magic of Testino’s work is that they look so contemporary. Even if you look at his work in the 90s, you could probably say that they were done yesterday. The secret is in Mario’s ability to establish a personal connection with his subjects. When Luca and Mario met in London some weeks ago, Mario told him about his time with Diana, Princess of Wales. At the time of the photoshoot, she wasn’t close to the Royal Family, so Mario decided to remove the extravaganza and captured Diana in a much more candid situation. He captured the real person, not a public figure.
When asked about technicalities, Luca explained that collectors don’t consider them as closely as one might think with the feel of the image being much more significant. The series exhibited for the first time in 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS tells a spontaneous nature of Testino, the one that is much more personal. Mario always carries his camera with him. When Gian Paolo Barbieri met with Mario Tesino a few weeks ago, he was taking pictures all the time. This side of Testino is on display in Part II of the exhibition.
The curiosity and open-mindedness help Mario catch moments that are not always aesthetically perfect for a magazine but perfect for him.
According to Mario, the person makes the shoot successful. Of course, sometimes, the client can restrict the possibilities, but Mario always pushes beyond these boundaries. These “pushes” are displayed in the gallery as well.
What Makes Unfiltered so Special?
The importance of this exhibition extends far beyond it being the first-ever display of Testino’s personal side. It also has historical value because the industry has changed. What Mario achieved will not be achieved by anyone else because of how much the industry changed.
Overall, the Mario Tesino Unfiltered Exhibition at 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS Gallery is a one-of-a-kind experience that will encompass both Testino’s large format work, which is known worldwide, as well as a much more intimate and unseen side of Testino. Beyond being valuable for collectors and art geeks, it is also a great chance for photographers to see works by a master.
Unfiltered Part I: 1st of October – 27th of November
Unfiltered Part II: 2nd of December 2021 – 28th of February 2022.
The 10th anniversary Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year exhibition has been planned for the 20th November – 12th December 2021 at the RPS in Bristol, UK, showcasing over 170 photos from more than 25 categories.
If you want to enter next years competition, then the 2022 edition of Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year is now open. Submissions close on 6 February 2022. To find out more visit pinkladyfoodphotographyoftheyear.com
Abdul Momin, Winner, Fujifilm Award for Innovation, Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2021
Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year premieres its tenth anniversary exhibition at The Royal Photographic Society
This winter, Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year, the world’s leading awards for food photography and film, is premiering its tenth anniversary exhibition at The Royal Photographic Society, one of the oldest photographic societies in the world.
With over 170 images from more than 25 categories, ranging from the Politics of Food to Marks & Spencer Food Portraiture, the exhibition captures the great sweep of stories and cultures in the world of food.
‘The RPS is excited to present the visual feast that will be the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2021 exhibition at its new gallery space in Bristol and are proud to be the first venue to host the finalist work outside London.’ said Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS, Director of Education and Public Affairs of The Royal Photographic Society, ‘This showcase of the world’s best food photography is sure to satisfy the city’s ardent foodies and the wider public.’
‘We are hugely honoured to be holding our tenth anniversary exhibition at The Royal Photographic Society – the exhibition is the exciting culmination of our Awards year and, though I say it myself, it is magnificent, we always get wonderful feedback. So do come and see us there!’ says Caroline Kenyon, Founder/Director of the Awards.
British documentary photographer Martin Parr CBE, recipient of the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award, will also be speaking at the exhibition. Parr has, for many years, used documentary images of food to explore social issues and identity, defining both his unique style and this genre of photography. Bristol is home to The Martin Parr Foundation, founded in 2014 and houses not only his own photography archive but also collections from other British and Irish photographers.
‘As home to the Royal Photographic Society, and an amazing creative community, Bristol is the perfect home for this event, not least because it is another opportunity to turn the spotlight on our incredible local food and drink, the majority of which have had such a challenging year.’ said Kathryn Davis, Head of Tourism, Visit Bristol, ‘This is a great opportunity to welcome back visitors to the city and attract new ones, and celebrate the best in food photography.’
The exhibition at the RPS, Bristol will run from 20 November to 12 December 2021. Entry is free. No booking required.
Unlocked is a new outdoor photography exhibition by Ealing London Independent Photography, featuring a collection of images reflecting on life during the pandemic, and embodying hope for the future. The exhibition, which is being billed as London’s tallest outdoor photography exhibition can be seen covering five storeys of Ealing Police Station, from the 11-19 September, 2021 as part of BEAT, and beyond. The exhibition features 35 1.5m long photographs, taken by 14 different photographers, all members of Ealing LIP.
We spoke to Edmond Terakopian and Jonny Baker from Ealing LIP, and you can read our interview with them below.
London’s Tallest Outdoor Exhibition Of Photography, Ever*
Five Storeys Of A London Police Station – A Group Exhibition By 14 Photographers
UNLOCKED – LOOKING BACK LOOKING FORWARD
An innovative outdoor photography exhibition ‘UNLOCKED’, is being installed across the whole frontage of Ealing Police Station, on all 5 storeys, launching on Saturday the 11th of September 2021.
UNLOCKED – LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD has been created by the photographers of Ealing LIP as a response to the strange and surreal experience of the year of lockdowns. We met virtually over this last year and a half, chatted on Zoom, the idea for Unlocked was hatched and a year later, it has become a reality. The project reflects on the things we all noticed over that strange time, our common experiences and the things that caught our attention. We look forward with hope to the future and to re-adapting to ‘real’ instead of virtual life, starting with this huge scale exhibition of non-virtual images.
Rift. My images were taken during one of the COVID 19 lockdowns in the UK and aim to convey feelings of darkness, despair, life and hope that many people would have experienced. If words are needed then one could suggest rift, desire, breath and deserted. Photo: Arun Misra. Instagram: @arunmisraphoto website: www.arunmisraphotography.com
PLACE: Ealing Police Station, 67-69 Uxbridge Rd, London W5 5SJ DATES: 11-19th September 2021, as part of BEAT. The exhibition will continue thereafter for the foreseeable future
Meet the photographers
Members of the group will be present at the exhibition for the BEAT weekends, on Sunday the 12th, Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th of September, from 2-4pm.
Ealing LIP is a satellite group of London Independent Photography (LIP), a London-wide membership association of photographers (enthusiast and professional) who meet regularly to share work, attend talks, offer support and create exhibitions.
In 2020 of course, we were not able to exhibit. To mark this special year and the early emergence from the pandemic, we chose to make the 2021 exhibition a very special one.
35 large scale photographs (measuring 1.5m wide each), from 14 photographers, will be displayed outdoors, across the front panels of the police station, visible and accessible to everyone, seven days a week. The exhibition will be part of BEAT, the Borough of Ealing’s annual art festival.
Old friends, socially distanced. Photo: Ray Higginbottom
We’re delighted that this innovative project has had the kind and generous support of Gogar Services, Fujifilm and Clarion Futures, along with a crowdfunding by art lovers. With thanks also to Pixelrights for their continued support of our gallery: http://ealingphotogallery.co.uk
* We’ve looked far and wide and haven’t been able to find any other exhibition of photography which has been on the scale of Unlocked.
Q&A with Edmond Terakopian and Johnny Baker from Ealing LIP
How did you guys come up with the idea?
Edmond Terakopian: Our group, Ealing London Independent Photography, usually meets monthly in a local pub’s private events room, but because of the lockdowns and public health concerns due to the pandemic, we took our meetings onto Zoom, like everyone else! Almost exactly a year ago, after having had to cancel our usual annual exhibition, we were thinking of seeing if we could do something for the Christmas holidays. We decided that it had to be outdoors and something people could see when they popped out for exercise of food shopping. Jonny Baker came up with an idea of an Advent Calendar type thing, that we could possibly mount on a shop window and the idea grew to doing some shops in a row. As soon as the Advent Calendar was said though, I started thinking of a matrix of images and my thought process took me to seeing if we could go to a closed hotel and use their windows and like a lightbulb, the thought of Ealing Police Station came to mind! As the group were discussing on Zoom about the shop windows, I blurted out with uncontrollable excitement, how about the Police Station?! I was met by a sea of thumbnail faces on Zoom, with expressions that hinted, the lockdown’s clearly effecting Edmond!
The idea for the content started off as 202020; so 20 images from lockdown, for 2020. As I started off conversations with the Metropolitan Police, due to the unprecedented nature of our request, things took longer as many internal discussions were taking place, so the 20 in 2020 was dropped to a larger matrix of images which reflected each photographer’s personal journey through these surreal times. Frankie McAllister who had come up with the brilliant 202020 name, came up with the superb name for the project as it stands; “Unlocked”.
We formed a group of organisers and Frankie McAllister, Jonny Baker, Sean McDonnell and I spent the next 12 months working on making our idea, born during a virtual meeting, into a reality.
Jonny Baker: During the various lockdowns we discussed doing a group exhibition that would be accessible outside so that people were safe and could see while out walking. We initially were planning something for December 2020 as a reflection on the year. We had the idea of an advent trail that would have a photograph in the window of a venue and each day in December unveil a new one so people could follow a trail. That discussion of advent led us to talk about advent calendars and a group member said they imagined something that looked like that on the side of a building. At that point we began thinking about buildings in Ealing and Edmond said ‘what about Ealing Police Station?’ It seemed a crazy question but an email to someone who knew someone began a process that took several months of seeking permission and to our amazement after it had been up the Met chain of command the answer came back with a yes. The time got pushed back so it made good sense to then have the exhibition as part of BEAT, the Borough of Ealing Art Trail as it is a local festival we have taken part in before. So we are launching it during BEAT 20.
NHS superhero mural by street artist Lionel Stanhope, pays tribute to NHS workers as they battle COVID 19. Railway bridge in Waterloo. Near empty streets during the lockdown as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. London, UK. May 30, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian. Instagram: @terakopian website: www.terakopian.com
How did you select the images?
Edmond Terakopian: We invited all our members to submit images around the theme of their personal journey through lockdowns and in the end, had a selection of images from 14 photographers. The 163 images were edited down by me as a first wave, into 69 images, which were sent to the Metropolitan Police for approval. As an outdoor exhibition and one which was actually to be on a Police Station, this was something we had agreed right from the beginning.
Images which were political or had graffiti in them, were rejected, but no editorial bias or aesthetic decisions were made by the Met, leaving us creative freedom to curate. The organising team of four of us then met. We’d made 62 prints and over the space of two hours, laid these out on a floor and kept editing them down, moving them around until we had curated a matrix of 35 images which worked well together, flowed and told the story of the pandemic lockdown and glimmers of hope looking forwards.
Jonny Baker: We wanted to do something reflecting on the pandemic and the times we have been through. We knew that straight away. But given the timing we felt it was important to have something that was looking forward as well as back. Then secondly the Police Station is set back from the road a bit so the images needed to be bold or graphic in style so they worked from a distance. That was the brief and we invited members of the group to submit lots of photos colour and landscape. Then the curation team spent did a first sift on those images and then spent an evening with prints laying them out on the floor and arranging them. That was based on a mix of things – covering a range of themes and ideas but not too many repeats of the same thing (for example masks, or NHS), colours, what seemed to go with what. Gradually like the pieces of a jigsaw it settled into something we felt worked as a whole. I remember when the ‘Hug’ love heart was positioned as the central image that felt really powerful and moving for example. And in some ways that is the thing we really love about the images. They feel like they work as a whole. The impact of the whole seems more than the sum or the parts.
Was it hard to get the police onboard or were they quite supportive?
Edmond Terakopian: I wouldn’t say it was hard, but it was very challenging. Primarily because nothing like this had ever been done before, was a completely unique idea and for the Police Service, a completely original and unprecedented request. Our first email to them was at the start of October 2020. At the beginning of March 2021, after many, many email conversations, we got the final “thumbs up” and the project had been given a green light by the Metropolitan Police Service. We were over the moon and extremely thankful to the two officers who helped get our unique request up the various levels of command. Without their support and passion for our rather novel concept, it would never have happened.
The next major hurdle was the funding. Doing any outdoor exhibition costs multiple times more than any indoor show, let alone one which goes up five floors and becomes London’s tallest outdoor exhibition of photography! We divided the workflow and I went to look for sponsorship whilst Sean McDonnell looked into various arts grants. As the exhibition as going to be part of BEAT (https://ealingbeat.org.uk) we had a deadline, so the pressure was on. We also started a crowdfunding for lovers of photography, which helped raise the funds. I’m extremely thankful to Alastair Snowie from Gogar Services and Andreas Georghiades from Fujifilm, who immediately recognised the uniqueness and creativity in the project and became our two main sponsors.
Clarion Futures were also kind enough to approve a grant and thus became our third sponsor. The joy we had when we cleared our fundraising and could move ahead was electric! Having a creative idea which one wants to share with the community is one thing, but making it a reality is an entirely different prospect! We’re also most thankful to United Graphics who came on board to make the 1.5m prints at very keen prices, helping us stretch the budget to getting the highest quality of print and lamination, to ensure the images pop and weather the conditions they will face over the coming months.
Jonny Baker: We made an initial contact with the police through someone who knew someone who worked there. That was a good start and to their credit they said they would ask. It then went really quiet. That was for two reasons. The first is there is always something going on for the Police. While we have been working with them they have been busy on the Euros or on XR so we’re not top of the list which is fair enough. The second is that they run a chain of command so it has to go up that chain and that takes time. But the good thing about that was that once it had gone up the chain and we got a yes it was a definite yes. Since that time, apart from being hard to get hold of at times, the officers we have worked with have been supportive and indeed been enthusiastic about the idea and the photos once they saw them.
Understandably we had to run the photos by them to be approved as part of the process. But we think and hope they will be very happy because the photos really look great and in the process we have cleaned their building!
Installation of UNLOCKED – Looking Back, Looking Forward, by 14 members of Ealing London Independent Photography, is thought to be London’s tallest outdoor exhibition of photography, to date. The 35, 1.5m long photographs, were printed by United Graphics and installed by GB Signs & Vinyls. Ealing Police Station, 67-69 Uxbridge Rd, London W5 5SJ, UK. August 07, 2021. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
What do you have to achieve from the event?
Edmond Terakopian: As creative photographers, being cooped up indoors, have trips cancelled and so on, is demoralising, to say the least. One idea behind the project was to give the group a project to shoot towards and to realise that the daily life they were photographing, was actually a reportage in itself. The outwards idea was to share, not just for the normal way one shares photography, but to show that we’re all in this together. We’re all going through the same challenges, but within these challenges, if one becomes mindful and looks deeper, positive elements of humanity rise to the surface and bring hope and often joy. During these dark and surreal times, warmth and hope exist if looked for and as photographers have a unique way of looking deeper, we hoped to bring this mindset to the wider community.
Whilst there are pictures of Unlocked on social media, I really hope that people can make a trip to see it for real. The scale of the exhibition is mind-blowing and really brings a strength that seeing the images online just doesn’t achieve. If you’d like to chat to the photographers, members of the group will be present at the exhibition for the BEAT weekends, on Sunday the 12th, Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th of September, from 2-4pm. The exhibition will continue for the foreseeable future and we think will see in 2022.
Jonny Baker: The idea of the exhibition was to create a space for reflection on what we have been through and what we are going through still. When you see the images they resonate with almost anyone – the NHS, masks, the outdoors, the hug and so on. It’s evocative and probably evokes grief about what we have lost and the pain of isolation and so on. But it also engenders a glimmer of hope, of looking beyond, of looking forward. Not everyone will be ready for that but we have tried to look in both directions. We also hoped to give people something enjoyable in Ealing that feels festival like as a piece of public art that could be viewed outside with people feeling safe to go and look at it. Also for us as photographers, taking photos is deeply personal as a way of paying attention, of awareness and reflection so I think it is also a collective group processing of what we have noticed so it is also significant for us as a community. In terms of achievement we are also absolutely delighted that we have pulled off something on this scale. We have done exhibitions but this has stretched us in every way and to see it finally up and looking so terrific has been almost overwhelming. We keep thinking ‘how did our little photography group do that?’ Something has truly been Unlocked.
Featured Image: Matching face mask and outfit to one’s surrounds as the lockdown comes to an end. Knightsbridge, London, UK. June 14, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian. Instagram: @terakopian website: www.terakopian.com
Fujifilm has launched its second printlife@home exhibition where you can also be in with the chance of winning top prizes.
printlife@home is open to anyone and photos can be captured on cameras or smartphones. Plus, as well as having your photos shared by Fujifilm, you might win a prize as each week, 5 photos will be selected as ‘photos of the week’ with the photographers winning an instax camera or voucher to spend on any photo gift product (T&C’s apply) at any Fujifilm Photo Retailer, in-store or online (this includes the Fujifilm House of Photography, Fujifilm Independent Photo Retailer, or myfujifilm.co.uk).
Everyone who submits a photo will also receive a free 8×10 print in the post and 20% off site-wide on myfujifilm.com.
Following last year’s successful digital exhibition and a 15-year history of hosting public photo exhibitions, Fujifilm has today launched its second printlife@home exhibition to tell the stories behind the photos taken over the last year in Europe.
After long lockdowns across Europe, photography has been firmly established a key part of collecting new memories as families, friends and loved ones begin to reunite with one another. Every photo tells a story, and Fujifilm is calling for these stories to be shared in this year’s printlife@home exhibition.
Launching on August 2 2021, members of the public can submit their photos to Fujifilm’s second virtual photo exhibition until 5 December 2021 on www.fujifilm-printlife.eu. The exhibition is open to everyone, irrespective of whether their photos are shot on a smartphone or a camera.
Creating and looking back at memories through the medium of photography has provided comfort and happiness to many through these difficult periods, so Fujifilm wants the public to not only share their special snaps but also their arrangements or displays of photos at home to provide the feeling of walking through personal galleries, providing the perfect storytelling setting.
David Honey, General Manager Photo Imaging at Fujifilm Europe, said: “Over the last 18 months, so many of us have returned to old photos to remind us of what life was like before the global pandemic, searching for the comfort of nostalgia. At Fujifilm, we strongly believe in the power of photography to capture and preserve memories for years to come, with each photo telling its own unique story. Whether you consider yourself a professional photographer or you prefer to capture your own memories on your smartphone camera, printlife@home is open to all to share these stories.
And we’re not stopping there. This year, after so long apart, we want printlife@home to help bring people together in a creative way and encourage everyone to get involved with their friends and loved ones on SoMe, and by bringing physical photo prints of their special moments into their homes with myFUJIFILM. We hope that this exhibition inspires people everywhere to join us and be part of something truly unique and special, together.”
printlife@home is open for any member of the public to enter and Fujifilm is looking to celebrate the most creative contributions and meaningful stories by choosing five Photos of the Week. Winners, selected by an independent jury, will not only have their photos profiled by Fujifilm but will also receive a voucher of €200, €150 or €100, or currency equivalent, to spend on photo printing products, or instead opting for an instax mini 40 or instax mini 11 camera, both with instax mini film provided to have everything needed to get creative and shoot beautiful instant prints.
In addition, anyone submitting a photo in the UK/NI will receive a number of exciting incentives:
1. A free 8×10 print in the post 2. Receive 20% off site-wide on myFUJIFILM.com 3. Be in with a chance to win one of five prizes (5 winners per week)
Prizes up for grabs include an instax Mini 40 or instax Mini 11, £100/£150/£200 voucher to spend on any photo gift product (T&C’s apply) at any FUJIFILM Photo Retailer, in-store or online (this includes the Fujifilm House of Photography, Fujifilm Independent Photo Retailer, or myFUJIFILM.co.uk).
After Fujifilm’s global 100,000 Photos exhibition was postponed in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, printlife@home launched in Europe in 2020 to provide a way for amateur, professional and hobbyist photographers to connect with each other. More than 10,500 photos were uploaded, giving a unique insight into the stories emerging across the continent.
David Honey, General Manager Photo Imaging at Fujifilm Europe, said: “Last year’s exhibition really demonstrated the simultaneously shared and unique experiences we have all been through over the last 18 months, giving focus to the varied cultures, roles and identities emerging from the hundreds of thousands of uploaded photos. The printlife@home exhibition provides a unique snapshot into how daily life has changed – and continues to change – using the creativity of photography. We want to continue this discovery journey this year and look forward to seeing and reviewing the thousands of entries we hope to receive.”
Fujifilm’s 15-year history in mass public participation photo exhibitions has seen the 100,000 Photos exhibition tour across various locations, from Japan and Malaysia to France and the USA. This year, 500 photos entered into printlife@home will also be showcased in an on-site exhibition at The Photography Show in Birmingham, UK in September.
The famous Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan is being accused of “predatory” and “exploitative” behavior after it purchased artwork by Black photographers indirectly (and at a steep discount) through a fundraiser to exhibit the photos without the artists’ permission.
HuffPost reports that the Whitney had purchased artwork by Black photographers through the collective See In Black, which sold prints by Black artists at a deep discount and donated 100% of the proceeds to charity.
“Showcasing the critical role of artists in documenting moments of seismic change and protest, this exhibition brings together prints, photographs, posters, and digital files that have been created this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement,” the exhibition’s description reads. “The majority of the works in Collective Actions were initiated by artist collectives to raise funds for anti-racist initiatives, including criminal justice reform, bail funds, Black trans advocacy groups, and other mutual aid work.”
However, the Whitney didn’t reach out to the photographers behind the purchased artworks until afterward, when they were already set to be included in the show.
Photographer Gioncarlo Valentine, who had donated his work to the See In Black sale, Tweets that he was contacted by exhibition organizer Farris Wahbeh, who informed him that his work had been purchased for the show and that in “recognition and appreciation” of his work’s inclusion, Valentine would be given a “Lifetime Pass” to visit the museum with a guest.
“I’m writing to let you know that I acquired your work Untitled from the project See in Black for the Whitney’s special collections,” Wahbeh writes in the screenshot shared by Valentine. “Alongside the acquisition, I’m also working on an exhibition comprised largely of works from our Special Collections […] [I] am excited to share that I plan to include your work as part of [this] project […]
“I’m so honored that your work will be on view in this exhibition […]”
Valentine wasn’t pleased.
Y’all. YALL. This is unreal. I’m… First of all I’ll never do another print sale again so please no that ahead of time. @whitneymuseum y’all preyed on Black artists in this moment in such a disgusting way. No scruples. An embarrassment. pic.twitter.com/uhEvQEKTT7
They have purchased artists works at horrendously discounted prices meant to make folk’s work accessible outside of the art buying context and to raise money for several organizations. They have entered said work into their collections and are planning a show. No permission.
Photographer Texas Isaiah says that the Whitney bought his photo through the See In Black sale for $100.
“It’s bewildering to think that a multi-million dollar museum went around to buy works for $100, some unsigned, untitled and not dated for their collections,” Isaiah tells HuffPost. “It is predatory, condescending and irresponsible.”
See In Black also released a statement to speak out against the Whitney’s actions.
“[…] [T]he Whitney’s use of the works acquired through the See in Black print sale at significantly discounted prices […] constitutes unauthorized use of the works to which the artists do not consent and for which the artists were not compensated,” See in Black writes.
Others have chimed in as well.
Horrified to hear that the @whitneymuseum has reached out to a slew of Black photographers informing them that prints acquired via the first See in Black print sale — meant to be a fundraiser for Black social justice orgs — will be exhibited as part of a show opening in 3 weeks. pic.twitter.com/k9Tus5mkUb
This is not a responsible or a respectful way to engage with artists — nor does it feel particularly sound for an institution with a $300 million+ endowment to acquire $100 prints that were priced to benefit anti-racism non-profits.
Utterly shameful and grossly exploitative behaviour of @whitneymuseum to “acquire” works of Black artists at discounted prices through a BLM fundraising – only to exhibit the works without any of the artists permission.
This is absolutely exploitative and predatory behaviour by @whitneymuseum Buying black artists work intended for fundraising at deep discounts and exhibiting it without permission. This is theft. https://t.co/VeKYlbKxAd
Hey @whitneymuseum why are you exploiting Black photographers like this? It’s unethical, flat out wrong, and you need to properly collect and pay all these artists for exhibiting their work instead of skimming off a community sale. Such a bad look. https://t.co/3WzwyQvOgX
the @whitneymuseum—which has the means to purchase Black artists’ works—instead snapped up BLM fundraiser prints donated by the artists, ensuring this “acquisition” does not financially support them. and now wants to exhibit & position themselves as supporters of the movement??? https://t.co/HOPuBbNcXH
This thoughtful group exhibition began with a long-ago conversation between Gallery Director, Burt Finger, and the late Ilona Albok Vitarius, daughter of John Albok. While looking through John Albok’s vintage photographs together, Ilona thought of an exhibition featuring signs. Of course John Albok created many great images of Manhattan that included an eclectic number of signs. Ilona even named the show, Signs of the Times.
The discussion between Burt and Ilona spawned many ideas regarding the significance of signs in Albok’s photographs, and other street photographers. The signage bears fruit, giving us references of the era, the market, design, cultural messaging, political advertising messages, etc. These signs can be considered time capsules.
This exhibition consists of many John Albok photographs that Ilona selected from her father’s archive, mainly dated from the 1930’s 1940’s.
Additional photographs in this show include PDNB Gallery artists. David Graham’s signature image, Really, Really Good, has a nostalgic, minimal, tongue-in-cheek sensibility. Elliott Erwitt’s, North Carolina, 1950, definitely gives us a measure of the times in the South. The artist, Lucienne Bloch, chose to photograph her friends, Frida and Diego, seated underneath a very informative sign. The signage calls attention to the couple’s political leanings.
John Albok’s charming Fruit Faces, from 1940, gives us not only pricing information, but you also see the shop keeper’s added talent for catching the eye of a passer-by. Albok’s war-time era parade photograph, Remember Pearl Harbor, 1943, highlights a patriotic banner that keenly illustrates both man and woman ringing the bell of freedom.
Other artists include Earlie Hudnall, Jr., William Greiner, Bill Kennedy, Morris Engel, Jeffrey Silverthorne and more.
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