Thursday, 28 October 2010

BJP International Photography Award - exhibition

The winners of the 2010 BJP International Photography Award are being exhibited at the AOP Gallery (Association of Photographers) from the 2nd to the 6th November.
The winner of the 'body of work' category is
Peter diCampo for his Life Without Lights series:

Peter DiCampo, Lights at the night time market in Gbulung, Ghana.

DiCampo writes about the project on his website:
Year-round in Ghana, the sun sets at 6pm and rises at 6am - thus, the residents of communities lacking electricity live half of their lives in the dark. Over ten years ago, the government of Ghana began a massive campaign to provide the country's rural north with electricity, but the project ceased almost immediately after it began. The work sluggishly resumes during election years, as candidates attempt to garner popularity and votes. But at present, an estimated 73% of villages remain without electricity in the neglected north - an area comprising 40% of the country.

Living without lights is more than just a minor inconvenience. Electricity provides a paramount step on the ladder of economics, and northern villagers know what is being kept from them: lights to study and cook by, machinery and refrigeration, and a standard of living that would attract teachers, nurses, and other civil service workers from the city, not to mention foreign tourists. Potential economic growth is stifled and poverty's cyclical nature is perpetuated...

The winner of the single image category is Michelle Sank for her picture of a sleeping man, an award which has proved to be controversial in the pages of the BJP.

Michelle Sank, Man asleep on the Golden Mile, Durban, South Africa.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Hereford Photography Festival - 2010

Simon Norfolk, Full Spectrum Dominance, 2008

The 20th annual Hereford Photography Festival runs from 29th October through to 27th November. An extensive exhibition programme includes "Twenty", curated by Paul Seawright and featuring photographers who have shown work at the festival over the last 20 years, including, amongst others, Jodi Bieber, Martin Parr, Paul Hill, Rankin, Roger Ballen and Simon Norfolk. See slide shows of images at The Telegraph and The Independent. See the HPF website for full details of all exhibitions and the programme of talks and events.

Landscape Photographer of the Year - 2010

Winter Mist: Corfe Castle, by Antony Spencer: winner of the The Landscape Photographer of the Year, 2010.
See gallery of winning and commended entries here.

Andrew Whitaker, Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside. (Highly commended.)

Friday, 22 October 2010

Damien Hirst and the British Art Show 2010 - on Frontrow

BBC Radio 4's Frontrow broadcast a 'special' on the eve of the opening of the British Art Show 7 in Nottingham. The programme includes an interview with Damien Hirst, reflecting on his generation's approach to success, and comments from current students at Goldsmiths on their prospects. Critics and artists also give their views on the current state of British art. Listen to the programme here.

British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet, will be in Nottingham, from 23rd October until 9th January 2011with shows at Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham Castle Museum and New Art Exchange. The exhibitions will then tour to London, Glasgow and Plymouth.

diatribes - Xposed Club, 29th October

Poster by Mark Unsworth.

A new season of Xposed Club events kicks off with diatribes on Friday 29th October in the atrium, Pittville Studios, Cheltenham. diatribes, from Switzerland are 'd'incise' (laptop, objects, treatements) and Cyril Bondi (drums, percussions). On Friday they will be playing with Chris Cundy and Pete Robson and then with the massed ranks of the CIO (Cheltenham Improvisers Orchestra). Expect (according to their website): "magnetic freedom, interaction, intensity and fluctuation, breaths, quiverings, cracklings, bearings, masses, crash, chaos. Sound matter builded, deformed, tears off influence of the reason, imploses and becomes again the dreams behind our eyelids"! Unmissable! (£5.00 (£3.00 concs.) on the door.)

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow - Anselm Kiefer

Premiered at Cannes, Sophie Fiennes' documentary about Anselm Kiefer, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, has just been released. Peter Bradshaw's review in The Guardian, is enthusiastic and describes it as a deeply serious meditation on artistic practice and expression. However, don't expect it to be screened at your local multiplex: scheduled UK screenings include Sheffield Doc/Fest (4th November), The Baltic Centre in Newcastle (11th November), The Royal Academy of Arts (15th November), and, the 'local' showing at Bath Film Festival - sometime between 10th and 20th November, actual date to be announced.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Exhibition Roundup - (mid) October

An occasional, and highly selective, pick of current and forthcoming exhibitions. This is a supplement to the previously posted October list (see below).

Susan Derges, Arch 4 (summer), 2007/8
Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography at the V&A (13th October - 20th February 2011). The exhibition features: Floris Neusüss, Pierre Cordier, Susan Derges, Garry Fabian Miller and Adam Fuss - see short videos about their work here. Susan Derges writes about making Arch 4 (summer), (above), in The Guardian's 'My Best Shot', series.

An intriguing work by Christian Marclay is at White Cube (Mason's Yard, 15th October - 13th November): The Clock is a 24 hour video constructed out of thousands of clips from a vast range of films featuring shots of clocks and watches so that the narrative flows in real time and the film always shows the correct time! See here for more detail.

At the Hayward Gallery, Move: Choreographing You: Art & Dance (13th October- 9th January, 2011) explores the place of dance in art since the 1960s. See Judith Mackarell's article in The Guardian: How the 60s New York arts scene revolutionised dance.
Robert Morris, Body Space Motion Things, 1973

Gagosian is showing James Turrell at its Britannia Street gallery (13th October - 10th December) which features a work called Bindu Shards, described by the gallery as "a fully immersive visual and auditory work to be experienced by one person at a time". At the Davies Street gallery Gagosian is showing new paintings by Damien Hirst: Poisons + Remedies (11th October - 20th November).
Damien Hirst, These Days (detail), 2008/9

Marina Abramović, a key figure in the story of performance art, is the subject of an exhibition at the Lisson Gallery (13th October - 13th November). The exhibtion will include both a survey of her Rhythm series of performances, dating back to the 1970s and recent work.
Marina Abramović, Rhythm 10, 1973

Monday, 11 October 2010

Book Choice - Pittville Library

You can take the man out of the library, but you can’t take the librarian out of the man. I began my professional life as a librarian – several happy years at Goldsmiths prior to equally happy years at Pittville (University of Gloucestershire) - but turned to teaching when required to relinquish librarianship for Learning Centrism. Though it is many years since I worked in Pittville Library, I still, secretly, regard it as my library. So, I was delighted to be asked to do a pick of the bookstock for display as part of a celebration of the Pittville years prior to relocation, next year.
My selection, in alphabetical order (of course) is as follows:
Becher, Bernd and Hilla (1988) Water Towers, London: MITP
I could have chosen the Mineheads, the Blast Furnaces or the Gas Tanks (I love the Gas Tanks), but I plumped for the Water Towers. Part objective typology of industrial forms and part conceptual art, these cool documents constitute strange and poetic visions - what the Bechers themselves termed Anonyme Skulpturen.
Borges, Jorge Luis (1970) Labyrinths: selected stories and other writings, Harmondsworth: Penguin
Amazing stories, each one dense with ideas and wonder.
Dean, Tacita (1999) Teignmouth Electron, London: Bookworks
The strange story of Donald Crowhurst, the man who faked his lone circumnavigation of the world and disappeared, seen through the work of this intriguing artist.
Dyer, Geoff (2005) The Ongoing Moment, London: Little Brown
The world is filling up with histories of photography: Dyer’s book is a refreshingly original take on the subjects and perceptions of photographers.
Frank, Robert (2008) The Americans, Steidl
Probably the best photobook. Ever. As Jack Kerouac says in the introduction: Anybody doesn’t like these pitchers dont like potry, see?
Hickey, Dave (1997) Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy, Art Issues Press
A good writer on art can be hard to find. Dave Hickey does the job.
Le Corbusier (1946) Towards a New Architecture, London: Architectural Press
Disguised by a bland library binding this edition of Le Corbusier’s seminal statement on architecture has the authentic whiff of heroic Modernist utopianism; the thrill of the impending machine age is captured in the pictures of cars, aeroplanes and grain silos.
Marinetti, F.T. (1989) The Futurist Cookbook, London: Trefoil
Matisse, Henri (1985) Jazz,New York: Braziller
An exhilarating and joyous feast of colour and energy: a triumph of the art of the book.
Opie, Julian (1991) A28/14(E), London: G-W Press
Order your modular sculpture here, just note the serial number. The exhibition catalogue as trade catalogue.
Parr, Martin (1999) Boring Postcards, London: Phaidon
Boring? Surely some mistake? How can you not thrill to the views of the M6, Thomas Cook’s International HQ, and the New Bus Station, Preston (‘Largest in Britain’).
Patterson, Simon (1994) Rex Reason, London: Book Works
A handy compendium of the elements reconfigured as film stars, directors and gods.
Spencer, Herbert (1969) Pioneers of Modern Typography, London: Lund Humphries
The freshness and invention of avant-garde graphic design sings off the pages of this beautifully constructed book.
Vogel, Amos (2005) Film as a Subversive Art, London: C.T.
For much of its history, the world of avant-garde and experimental film has been obscure and inaccessible; now, thanks to the internet and the wonderful UbuWeb, this world is opening up. Vogel’s book is the key to unlocking it.
Wentworth, Richard (1998) Thinking Aloud, London: Hayward Gallery Publishing
A brilliant and witty selection of objects and images gently nudged into new relationships and poetic dialogue.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Martin Creed (and others) at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

Martin Creed, Work No.338: Things, 2004

The Cheltenham Literature Festival kicks off on Friday 8th October and features a handful of art related events. Most notably, Martin Creed (Turner Prize winner, 2001) will give a talk about his work at the Parabola Arts Centre, 12-1pm on Saturday 9th October.

Other art related events are more conventionally book oriented:

  • Picasso – talk by Christopher Riopelle, 2-3pm, Tuesday 12th
  • Lucian Freud – talk by Martin Gayford, 2-3pm, Wednesday 13th
  • Caravaggio – talk by Andrew Graham-Dixon, 12-1pm, Thursday 14th
  • Canaletto – talk by Charles Beddington, 10-11am, Friday 15th
  • Van Gogh –talk by Ann Dumas, 2-3pm, Friday 15th

For more details and booking information go to the Festival website.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Street Photography NOW

Coinciding with the publication of Street Photography Now, by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren (soon to be available in Pittville Learning Centre), and in association with the Photographers Gallery, a year long project for street photographers to "record the world we live in" is launched today (1st October).

Olivier Laurent writing in The British Journal of Photography explains how it will work:

Each week, one of the 52 photographers featured in the book will issue instructions for street photographers around the world to follow. "These detailed instructions will act as a call to arms to photographers to look afresh at their immediate surroundings and to literally take to the streets," say the organisers. " All photographers will be encouraged to comment and respond to the images posted to the Flickr page."

Once the instructions have been issues, photographers will have six days to respond and upload one photograph to the Street Photography Now Project gallery on Flickr. At the end of the 52 weeks, "the photographer felt to have made the most outstanding contribution over the year will be awarded £1000 of Thames & Hudson books and have their work displayed on The Photographers’ Gallery digital Wall for All at the Gallery’s newly redeveloped space."

The first instructions (see above) have been issued by Magnum photographer Bruce Gilden.

For full details about how to take part see Street Photography Now Project.