Champion Photobooks

ART14 Tours on Photography and collecting

For this version of ART14 London, I will be giving three specialised tours, two on photography and collecting, and a third on editions and the contemporary art market. Here is the link to the ART14 site where you can find out more: http://www.artfairslondon.com/programme

The selection this year is very interesting, hope to see you all there.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art will be running specialist and public tours of the fair. Sotheby’s Institute alumni, now experts in their field, offer detailed insights into key areas of collecting.

Tours are £10 each and are open to all Art14 London ticketholders and VIPs. Advance booking is advised as spaces are limited.”

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Still Here

Here is a link to the review I wrote of Lydia Goldblatt’s first book, Still Here published by Hatje Cantz in 2013, for Photobookstore Magazine.

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Lydia Goldblatt, from Still Here, Hatje Cantz, 2013

“The sun shines through the window. It doesn’t fill the room; it looks like it chooses where to set, what to touch. It shines through the flowery curtain and the delicate silk robe. It warms the skin, dazzles the eyes, hits the crystals and exposes the film. For me, Lydia Goldblatt’s work is as much of a scientific exploration of the physical world and its machinations as it is a labour of love…” Read More >

Medway Photo Festival 2014

The Medway Photo Festival happens once a year in January and takes place in Rochester and Chatham. The photography exhibitions will all be open from 21st January to 26th January 2014. Exhibitions will feature exciting new work from students in their 2nd year studying Photography as Contemporary Practice at the UCA Rochester. This year the festival has become part of the Recreate project for Medway, which supports the development of the creative industries in specific regions of the UK and France.

For this edition of the festival I’ll be a guest speaker at the Art In Focus Day, on Saturday 25 January at Sun Pier House. I’ll be talking about the latest projects I have been involved with (sneak peek to some exciting new exhibition and publication projects!) and the importance of the history of photography in selected contemporary practices.

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Download the Festival’s Newspaper, featuring a commissioned essay by my good friend, curator Sue Steward.

http://www.medwayphoto.co.uk/
Follow via Twitter @ucaphoto
Free admission. All welcome.

FORMAT International Portfolio Review 2014

This year I will be part of the next FORMAT Portfolio Reviews, to take place on Friday 28 & Saturday 29 March 2014 at QUAD in Derby. FORMAT has carefully selected a number of international experts in the field of photography, from around Europe and the UK to review for two days.

This review is the biggest and most international Portfolio Review in the UK. Do not miss out on having your work seen by some of the biggest names in photography. Places are limited, so book your place now to avoid disappointment! Great discounts and awards from Format partners are also available for participants.

For more details on the reviews please visit: http://bit.ly/PortfolioReviews2014

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Marek Piasecki at Mummery + Schnelle

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Marek Piasecki. Untitled. Undated (c. 1957-59). Heliograph. 23.7 x 26.7 cm

This is the latest show at Mummery+Schnelle, the first exhibition in the UK of the work of Polish artist Marek Piasecki [1935-2011]. A photographer, graphic artist, painter, sculptor, and creator of objects and installations – the most important of which were his successive studios – Piasecki was a truly independent phenomenon who did not fit the mainstream narrative of Polish postwar art. Although his work received some critical attention from the late 1950s into the ‘60s, and he had connections to the 2nd Cracow Group (whose most famous member was Tadeusz Kantor) Piasecki was never a central figure and his decision to emigrate to Sweden in 1967 further distanced him from artistic life in Poland. It was not until a retrospective exhibition was presented at the Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw in 2008, that the significance and importance of his work to Polish art in the second half of the 20th century began to be recognized.

The exhibition at Mummery + Schnelle has been curated in collaboration with Rafal Lewandowski of Galeria Asymetria in Warsaw, and with the artist’s widow, Mrs Joanna Piasecka. It includes works dating from the late 1950s until Piasecki’s move to Sweden in 1967, focusing on two main areas of his practice, firstly the experimental abstract heliographs and miniatures that excited most critical interest during the artist’s lifetime, and secondly his photographs of dolls and of his extraordinary studio in Cracow. An essay by art historian Maggie Iversen accompanies the exhibition.

Piasecki made his first abstract photographs – his heliographs – in 1955. They were created by recording traces of spilled liquids placed on a photosensitive base (a glass plate) and subsequently transferred onto photographic paper. Further experiments produced various shapes through the use of transparent materials, such as pieces of celluloid, or mechanical actions, like drawing, directly onto a photosensitive base. The heliographs were set in deep-boxed frames to emphasise the impression of three-dimensional ‘objects’. At the same time Piasecki was also creating his miniatures. These are of small format and were treated as ‘paintings’ that combined the elements of the heliographic technique, collage and relief printing. Piasecki created his miniatures by directly treating photographic paper with chemical agents, or other stimuli, as well as sticking on them various ‘alien bodies’ such as dried petals and leaves, or small pieces of sheet metal.

Piasecki started to photograph his collection of dolls in 1959. The resulting works have close links to surrealism and nouveau-realisme. The dolls that Piasecki photographed were ordinary children’s toys that he transformed, in the words of the critic J. Bogucki, by “dressing them up, posing them, arranging them, illuminating them, thus depriving them of their infantile carelessness. He encumbers them with the weight of the moral and mental experiences of the last quarter of the century”. He sometimes performed surgical operations on his doll models, taking them to pieces, creating anatomical curios, removing some body parts and multiplying others. According to curator Joanna Kordiak-Piotrowska, the origins of a fragmented female body should not be sort solely in the perception of the woman as an object. “What is also important is the personal, tragic experience of war seen through the eyes of a small boy, an experience that, like with many artists of the same generation, forever changed the subject’s perception of the human body. It is probably also the source of the artist’s characteristically surrealistic vision of the world.”

During the artist’s lifetime, art critics variously described Piasecki’s studio at Siemiradzkiego Street in Cracow as a cabinet of curiosities, a micro-galaxy, a surrealistic pharmacy, a museum of enchanted objects, a gesamtkunstwerk, an art-habitat or a cultivation of objects, where in a dark room, filled with shelves and drawers, the artist was deconstructing the fragments of collected objects/pictures, as if on a dissecting table, and was organizing ‘performances’ for his friends. More than a living and working space, Piasecki’s studio was simultaneously an object, an environment and an action: a world of art detached from the everyday world.

www.mummeryschnelle.com

Paris Photo events

Paris Photo week is finally here. A lot of events and interesting meetings aside from the main fair. Here are my highlights this year.

This show features work by Rosario Lopez we showed last year here in London. The opening is Saturday night at the Fondation Cartier.

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There is also a show entitled Nocturnes de Colombie, with work from another Colombian artist we’ve shown in London, Miguel Angel Rojas, at the Quai Branly Museum. I will be giving a guided visit of this exhibition on Sunday at 11 am if you are around.

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My other favourite destination apart from the fair itself is the Salon Photo Vintage, a meeting of some of the world’s best vintage photography dealers:

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That’s on the Sunday, at Galerie Vivienne 75002 Paris , opening 8 a.M to 16h30 p.m

Bonus track:

Cristina de Middel is launching her new project Party at Off Print on Friday, followed by a special Communist Party on Saturday, you don’t want to miss either!

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Come on down to Paris, it’s gonna be grand.

Grain Portfolio Development Day

I’ve been invited to speak and review portfolios at the Grain Portfolio Development Day at BCU Parkside Campus, Birmingham.

GRAIN, the photography hub and network for the West Midlands, is excited to be delivering one of its first professional development opportunities in the region in collaboration with Birmingham City University and its project partners. The event is ticketed and places must be booked in advance.  

During the day there will be a series of talks by expert professionals Mahtab Hussain, Pete James, Louise Clements and Rodrigo Orrantia, advice sessions and one to one reviews to help emerging photographers, artists who work in photography and students to develop a professional portfolio.

For many photographers and artists a portfolio is the main way to secure work, commissions and exhibitions.  It is the way in which you show people your work and the main way in which you demonstrate your talent, your career and your ambition.

The day is a must for emerging photographers who wish to understand how to develop their work and their portfolio in order to secure opportunities.”

Come on over, it’s gonna be grand.

http://grainphotographyhub.co.uk/events/portfolioreviewparkside/

Prince Claus Awards 2014

This year I’ve been invited to submit a nomination for the Prince Claus Awards 2014. Looking back on their history of nominates and award winners, I chose a few names that deserve highlighting. The most important of them for me are Mexican artists Teresa Margolles and Maya Goded. Although I was aware of their recent work, is not until now that I understand the importance of their practice within Latin American art. Here is a link to a short video of Margolles’work, as part of the 2012 version of the award.

It got me thinking once again of photography as a house for ghosts and hauntings.

Critical Mass 2013

This year I’ve been asked to be a juror for Critical Mass 2013, run by Photolucida in Portland. Very intrigued about the quality of the works on show, and the potential for new discoveries from all around the world. 

Photolucida’s Critical Mass, now in it’s 10th year, is a program about exposure and community. Not a traditional photography competition, the goal is to provide participants with career-building opportunities and to promote the best emerging photographers working today in a multitude of ways. >more