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Daily Archives: April 9, 2012

Leonora Hamill, Eric Pillot win HSBC Photography Awards

Leonora Hamill and Eric Pillot were selected from a long-list of 500 entrants and a shortlist of 13 photographers chosen by art historian Rafael Doctor Roncero.

The winners will see their work published by Actes Sud later this year, and their images will go on show across France in four planned exhibitions. HSBC will also purchase at least six of the winning images for its private art collection, guaranteeing a €5000 cash prize to the laureates.

Hamill was chosen for her work Art in Progress, which is a “study of the human condition,” says Roncero. In recent years, Hamill has been cataloguing and photographing classrooms and places where people learn about art. “In her work, the collective aspect of artistic labour in its learning phase is predominant, which goes against the general preconception of an isolated and independent artist,” adds Roncero.

Pillot has received the HSBC Award (Photography has been a part of HSBC France’s cultural policy for many years now. Today, the Group’s patronage of the photographic arts is carried out by the Prix HSBC pour la Photographie, which was created in 1995 under the aegis of the Fondation de France.  The Prix HSBC pour la Photographie supports little-known professional artists by helping them to promote their work. Each year, the Prix HSBC sponsors two young contemporary photographers striving to capture the real world on film. There are no pre-requisites as to age or nationality....more.) For his work In Situ.”Pillot portrays the desolation of these animals that are so close to us. At the same time, he looks for their confrontational stares – stares that we can’t escape since there is no logical justification for the cruel spaces [we lock these animals in].”

For more information about Eric Pillot and Leonora Hamill, visit www.ericpillot.com and www.leonorahamill.com.

From the BJP written by Olivier Laurent……MORE

Image © Eric Pillot, Prix HSBC pour la Photographie.
Image © Leonora Hamill, Prix HSBC pour la Photographie.

El Plus En: Ellerker Gardens

“El Plus En’s latest project is an unsettling trip into the subconscious and an unusual take on the photographic series.

Graduating from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in Farnham. In that time, the duo have travelled to India and the US to create projects, been taken up by a Swedish gallery, and had work published in Foam, Source and Wallpaper* magazines. And that’s just for starters; they also founded the Wandering Bears collective with fellow photographer Peter Haynes, curating exhibitions for Margate Photo Festival and Brighton Photo Fringe’s Open 11.

 Now they’ve produced a new series, Ellerker Gardens, the first project they’ve shot entirely digitally. “It was a long process for us to get used to,” says Norman. “Initially we would look at every image immediately unsatisfied, an experience we were new to as normally we’ve had to wait for development periods before we could reflect on the images.” writes Diane Smyth in the BJP.…MORE

Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography

Lucy Davies writes an excellent article in the BJP about an exhibition of South African photographers at the V & A

Messina/Musina and Maryna Vermeulen with Timana Phosiwa, 2006 © Pieter Hugo. Courtesy of Michael Stevenson, Cape Town & Yossi Milo, New York.

“South African photographers have caught the world’s attention and are now being recognised as some of the most exciting and inventive artists at work. BJP talks to some of them as the V&A Museum welcomes them in a comprehensive exhibition. The weight of South Africa’s past lies heavy on its present, a burden its photographers cannot ignore. And yet, in their attempt to make sense of post-apartheid society and devise new approaches to its complexities, the dynamism and urgency of these photographers has caught worldwide attention, and they are now being recognised as some of the most exciting and inventive artists at work. Lucy Davies travelled to South Africa to meet a handful of them ahead of the V&A’s exhibition Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography. In Portrait with Keys, Ivan Vladislavic’s collection of loosely stitched, non-fiction encounters with the city of Johannesburg, the narrator imagines a map. At the time he is travelling westwards across the urban grid in a car with his friend Louise, past the house on Isipingo Street in the suburb of Belleville where the writer Herman Charles Bosman murdered his step-brother in 1926. “People should be made aware of this historic site,” says Ivan, and conjures in his mind a palimpsest to represent the city’s history, where “every violent death… above ground and below, by axe and blade and bullet” is marked on a map. It will form, he says, “a title deed to despair… cross-stitched in black, crumpling under the weight of sorrow as you struggle to unfold it on the dining room table”.

There is no question that the weight of South Africa’s past lies heavy on its present. Its collective memory has the butting insistence of the head of an animal that needs to be fed. The public hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were first to map the ancient violations and prejudices for a post-apartheid generation, but in recent years these histories – and I use the plural because they are not always concordant – have been inscribed, reinterpreted, reappropriated, veiled and enacted by an exceptional number of photographers.

This month, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London will exhibit a selection of works from this new visual landscape, in a show titled Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography (12 April – 17 July). Just 17 photographers were pulled from the stream by co-curators Tamar Garb and Martin Barnes, via a series of stringent criteria designed to illuminate the tense relationship South Africa has had with the depiction of its people. All the work has been produced over the past decade by practitioners living and working in South Africa, and all of it foregrounds a self-conscious engagement with the country’s distinct political and photographic past. Their voices are young and strong, capable, Barnes believes, “of holding their own on the worldwide market”.…….MORE

The Photographers’ Gallery celebrates London 2012 Olympics with an outdoor exhibition

Simon Bainbridge writes in the BJP about an exhibition due to open at the new Photographers Gallery.

“The World in London is a major outdoor photography exhibition that will go on show in east London to coincide with the London 2012 Olympics.

The Photographers’ Gallery has revealed its contribution to this year’s Olympic games, announcing The World in London, a major outdoor exhibition for which it commissioned 204 portraits.Each of the 204 subjects originated from one of the 204 countries competing in this summer’s games in the capital, all of which will be shown together as large-scale posters in Victoria Park in east London (which hosts the 2012 Olympics), as well as in the pedestrian zone outside the gallery’s soon-to-re-open venue in Soho. “

The World in London explores portraiture and cultural diversity using photography, one of the most accessible and democratic artistic mediums of our times,” says the gallery. “The project celebrates London as a place where individuals from all parts of the world live side by side, each of them contributing to make London the unique city it is.”.…….MORE

Snezana Lukka-Biesek, Russia 2010 (c) Véronique Rolland, who is one of 204 photographers commissioned for an exhibition as part of the London 2012 Festival.

Read more: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2165603/photographers-gallery-celebrates-london-2012-olympics-outdoor-exhibition-204-portraits#ixzz1rYEp2531
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French organisation launches campaign for photographers’ rights

Olivier Laurent writes in the BJP “A French organisation representing professional photographers has launched a new campaign against the abusive use of photographs, often without proper remuneration, by editors and marketers

“Each day, a photographer’s work is used without his consent,” reads this new campaign poster by French organisation Union des Photographes Professionnels – Auteurs.

 The campaign, launched this week, was created after the organisation found that photographers’ rights continued to be abused. “It’s obvious that professional photographers are not being listened to,” says a spokeswoman. “So, for the first time, we’re speaking to the photographic community with an image. We hope to raise awareness among the public, as well as the media and the government, about photographers’ problems. Each day, photographers are faced with decreasing rates. They are forced to compete against image libraries that are offering vile prices. These practices are infringing on photographers’ moral rights.”.……MORE

Shadow land: photographs by Roger Ballen

Staying with the South African theme for a moment, this exhibition looks interesting and if you are near Manchester would be worth some of your time.

Roger Ballen is an American photographer who has been shooting in black-and-white for more than 40 years, mostly in South Africa. Here is a selection of images from his exhibition Shadow Land, taken between 1983 and 2011, which can be seen at the Manchester Art Gallery until 13 May 2012.

“Shadow Land is a major exhibition of work by internationally-acclaimed photographer Roger Ballen whose work offers a powerful social critique and an extreme, uncanny beauty. The exhibition explores three decades of Ballen’s career, charting the evolution of his unique photographic style and demonstrating the contribution he has made to contemporary photography.

One of the most important photographers of his generation, Roger Ballen was born in New York in 1950 but for over 30 years he has lived and worked in South Africa. In his work from the early 1980s to mid 90s he gained world recognition and critical acclaim with his powerful and controversial images of those living on the margins of South African society.

Although retaining the same distinctive aesthetic, (all his work is in black and white, square format) in the last decade Ballen’s work has evolved into a style he describes as ‘documentary fiction’ where the line between reality and fantasy is deliberately blurred. In doing so, his work enters into a new realm of photography; the images are painterly and sculptural in ways not immediately associated with photography.

Shadow Land will include previously unseen work from his new series Asylum and will be Ballen’s first solo show in a UK public gallery.

Fans of Ballen’s work will be interested in his recent collaboration with Die Antwoord, a futuristic rap-rave crew from South Africa who represent a new style called Zef. Ballen’s photography has had a formative influence on the band and led to him directing their latest video I fink u freeky poised to be a viral sensation and introduce Ballen’s work to an entirely new audience.”

  • Friday 30 March 2012 – Sunday 13 May 2012
  • Manchester Art Gallery
  • FREE



This Must Be the Place by Pieter Hugo

writes in the Guardian about Pieter Hugo and reviews “This Must Be the Place” Pieter Hugo’s photographic retrospective offers a provocative view of life on the edge of sub-Saharan African society

Pieter Hugo’s photographs are problematic. That is part of their power and their resonance. He is a white South African who came of age as apartheid crumbled and, though he cites the great David Goldblatt as a formative inspiration, his photographs possess none of the powerful political thrust of an older generation of South African photographers, who had no choice but to deal with the harsh realities of the world around them.”..…..MORE

This is from Pieter Hugo’s website and specifically about this project


These photographs came about after a friend emailed me an image taken on a cellphone through a car window in Lagos, Nigeria, which depicted a group of men walking down the street with a hyena in chains. A few days later I saw the image reproduced in a South African newspaper with the caption ‘The Streets of Lagos’. Nigerian newspapers reported that these men were bank robbers, bodyguards, drug dealers, debt collectors. Myths surrounded them. The image captivated me.”..….MORE