Top image: New Brighton. From ‘The Last Resort’. 1983-85 copyright Martin Parr / Magnum Photos Photography by Martin Parr.
Following the success of the previous two years, tomorrow Photo London returns to Somerset House for a third year of intriguing talks, must-see exhibitions and some all-important book signings.
As the UK’s largest photography fair, Photo London is a major highlight on the arts calendar. This year’s event will see 70 of the world’s leading photography galleries come together to showcase a diverse mix of nascent talent and established icons; including Matt Collishaw, William Klein, Juergen Teller and Martin Parr.
With such a broad and plentiful programme, from filmmakers to fashion photographers through street documenters, we’ve picked out the absolute must-see events taking place at this year’s fair. Pay attention.
EXHIBITION: WILLIAM KLEIN’S PAVILION COMMISSION
Following Wolfgang Tillmans’ 2016 Pavilion commission, legendary New York photographer William Klein will take the reins for 2017, creating a new mural for the space spanning eighteen metres.
With a life-long career in the arts and photography (street photography in particular), some of Klein’s most notable commercial works include his stint at Vogue in the 1950s and 60s, capturing fashion photography at its most imaginative, before venturing into filmmaking. “They were probably the most unpopular fashion photographs Vogue ever published,” Klein proudly recalls in an interview with The Guardian. Going against the grain and courting controversy through his work is one thing Klein will continue to do, so be sure not to miss his larger-than-life mural at The Pavilion this year.
And for an even more in-depth insight into his work, catch him in conversation with David Campany at the National Portrait Gallery on Friday 19th May at 7:00pm.
Thursday 18th May – Sunday 21st May, Pavilion, Somerset House
TALK: TARYN SIMON IN CONVERSATION WITH JAMES LINGWOOD, CO-DIRECTOR OF ARTANGEL
American multidisciplinary artist Taryn Simon has been awarded the title, Master of Photography, at this year’s fair. She’ll be in discussion with James Lingwood, Co-Director of Artangel, chatting about her acclaimed career and her exhibition Image Atlas at The Embankment Gallery East, which you can catch as part of the public programme. The exhibition explores similarities and differences within a vast array of cultures by looking at the top image results for certain terms through search engines across the globe.
Simon’s contribution to photography is not one to be taken lightly. In 2003, her project The Innocents saw her revealing those who were wrongly convicted for crime in some painstakingly raw images, highlighting that ambiguity and injustice can have disastrous consequences. From there she has gone on to contribute many projects that continue to convey her interest in how things are categorised and the uncertain nature of survival. She does this through meticulous research into her topics, creating incredibly insightful works.
Thursday 18th May, 1:00-2:20pm, Somerset House
“CHAPTER XI, A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I-XVIII” (2011) by Taryn Simon
TALK: KEN LOACH IN CONVERSATION WITH STILLS PHOTOGRAPHER JOSS BARRATT, CHAIRED BY NEIL NORMAN, FILM AND CULTURE CRITIC
If you’ve watched Ken Loach‘s 2016 film (and Palme d’Or winnter) I, Daniel Blake, you don’t reminding of the director’s genius and his ability to reflect the social and political climate like no other, sparking interest by exposing social issues such as poverty, and left-wing political views through his work.
Take the 1966 BBC television play Cathy Come Home (directed by Loach), as another prime example of Loach’s talent, with the plot line following a couple’s desperate bid to keep a family together whilst living on the breadline and fighting homelessness. In 2005 it was named the UK’s most influential TV programme of all time by Broadcast, and Loach continues to portray his political and social views through the medium of art. He will be in conversation with film and television stills photographer Joss Barratt.
Thursday 18th May, 5:45 pm – 6:45 pm, Somerset House
TALK: JUERGEN TELLER IN CONVERSATION WITH ADRIAN SEARLE, CRITIC
Photography maestro Juergen Teller is set to make an appearance at Photo London this year as he sits down with The Guardian’s Art Critic Adrian Searle to chat about some of his work, which will be displayed at the the Great Arch Hall. With a provocative and candid photography style, Teller has shot some of the most famous and intriguing faces, from Bjork to OJ Simpson to those pictures of Kim Kardashian-West’s infamous derrière. The dent he’s made in the photography world is monumental, so we’re expecting his talk with Searle to offer an insightful view into his wonderful world.
Friday 19th May, 10:00 am – 11:00 am, Somerset House
Bjork by Juergen Teller
BOOK SIGNING: JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN, THE ACT (2016)
Here’s one for prime position on your mantelpiece, a signed copy of Julia Fullerton-Batten’s incredible The Act, which explores the lives of female sex workers from porn actresses to peep-show performers. Creating doll-like, mini-theatrical sets for the photo shoots – each of which corresponds to the sexual profession of the models – Fullerton-Batten offers an insight into a world where the stage is expected to be full of darkness. The stunning oversized book is beautifully bound with a lace garter, carefully corresponding to the publication’s theme.
It was important for Fullerton-Batten to relay the stories of the fifteen models featured, so along with the book you’ll also get a DVD containing interviews and behind the scenes footage. At £140 it’s no bargain, but who needs money when you’ve got such covetable tomes, right?
Friday 19th May, 12:45-1:15pm, Rizzoli Bookshop, Somerset House
BOOK SIGNING: MARTIN ESSL, LE CHÂTEAU ROUGE N° 1 (2015)
Carefully clothbound in banderole with 112 pages of vividly vibrant prints, Martin Essl’s Le Château Rouge N° 1 (the first instalment of a multi-part photographic essay), transports you through Paris and other stunning European cities. Getting lost in these city’s streets, Essl takes the viewer to a world where everyday life comes injected with vivid hues to create strikingly bold images.
Start living in technicolor, be sure to pick up a copy and you’ll be on the internet planning your European escape soon after, it’s inevitable.
Friday 19 May, 3pm, Somerset House
TALK: DAVID HURN IN CONVERSATION WITH MARTIN PARR
“Life as it unfolds in front of the camera is full of so much complexity, wonder and surprise that I find it unnecessary to create new realities. There is more pleasure, for me, in things as-they-are,” says documentary photographer and Magnum Photos member David Hurn. Having spent over 60 years behind a lens, he’s captured the candid reality of life, from painful images of the Aberfan Coal Slip Disaster to depictions of drug addiction. This year he will sit down with British documentary photographer, photojournalist and Magnum President Martin Parr in what is set to be an unmissable discussion. Parr brings a great deal of humour and satire to his photography, shooting sun frazzled women on deck chairs and grandmas in the sassiest sunnies – glass of white wine in one hand, crisp in the other. He carefully captures the western world in a tongue-in-cheek way that is easily accessible and amusing to all who admire his work. So for a look into two contrasting styles of documentary photography (each jawdroppingly good) be sure to stop by and listen up.
PS. If you want to meet the man himself, Parr will be signing copies of three of his books – The Last Resort, Autoportrait, and Black Country Stories – before the talk at 2:15.
Friday 19th May, 5:15 pm – 6:15 pm, Somerset House
Image from Martin Parr’s ‘This Is The World On Vacation’ (2007)
For the full line-up click here.