Since its launch in 2015, Photo London has attracted an increasing number of satellite events. Together they create an opportunity to discover some of the most exciting emerging and newly established talent from around the world. Of the many shows on view this week, here are some that stand out.
JUNO CALYPSO AT TJ BOULTING
Juno Calypso returns to TJ Boulting for her second solo show What To Do With A Million Years. In this new body of work Calypso’s starting point was a surreal and unique underground house in Nevada. The location was built by Avon cosmetics founder Gerry Anderson in the 1960s; with the advent of the cold war he had decided to take the premise of a bunker in the back yard one stage further. The multi-millionaire moved 26 feet underground into a 16,000 square foot luxury space, designed to withstand virtually any disaster and protect from almost any intruder.
Calypso immersed herself in the surroundings, sleeping and working in the property, staging self-portraits in different rooms. Whilst there, she discovered a stash of pamphlets about cryonics from the 1960s to the present day which served as inspiration for the project. By incorporating the duality of the pursuit of beauty and the preservation of the living, the work takes a disturbing detour to become an eerie emblem of futurism at the apex of opulence and death.
SENTA SIMOND AT WEBBER GALLERY
Not to be missed is Senta Simond’s Rayon Vert at Webber Gallery. The title refers to an optical phenomenon, in which the appearance of the sun as it rises or falls beyond the horizon creates a brief flash of green, and with it a supposed moment of mental clarity for all those who see it.
In reality Simond’s Rayon Vert refers to the illusive moments shared by the relationship between photographer and sitter. She invites the viewer into a series of deeply personal and intriguing moments, a fresh approach to the female gaze. The outcome is a beautiful exploration of gesture and pose on both sides of the camera.
FOAM TALENT AT BEACONSFIELD GALLERY VAUXHALL
Now in its third year, Foam Amsterdam and Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall present Foam Talent, an annual platform for introducing a new generation of emerging imagemakers to the art world. The show features work by 20 innovative talents under the age of 35 including Namsa Leuba, Vasantha Yogananthan, Erik Madigan Heck and Weroniksa Gęsicka.
The show also provides an insight into trends and ideas informing current photography practises. Key themes include questions of identity and representation as well as confronting the socio-political impact of terrorism and totalitarian regimes. Collectively the work demonstrates the wide range of mediums embraced by today’s artists, who rarely confine themselves to the camera alone.
PALM PHOTO PRIZE AT HOUSE OF VANS
Over at House of Vans, the Palm Photo Prize, founded by Lola Paprocka, is a celebration of emerging imagemakers from all over the world. Selected from an open call, the show features work by 120 young photographers focusing on raw and engaging work. While Foam Talent focuses exclusively on art practice, Palm brings together imagemakers across a wide variety of disciplines.
ROBIN BROADBENT AT WREN LONDON
Festival newcomer Wren London, founded by Jennifer Turner, aims to champion working photographers with a view to enable and facilitate collaborations within the creative industries. Launching during Photo London is their inaugural show Reduction, Reduction by New York-based photographer Robin Broadbent. The work is a modern take on Bauhaus minimalism, exploring elements of space, shape, light and line to create an abstract documentation of today’s modern culture.
LORENZO VITTURI AT FLOWERS GALLERY
For an injection of colour, head to Flowers Gallery for a visual cacophony masterminded by Lorenzo Vitturi. The works in his new series Money Must be Made are based in Balogun Market in Lagos, Nigeria, one of the biggest markets of its kind in West Africa. While Vitturi’s previous project Dalston Anatomy reflected on the gentrification displacing local businesses in London, the new work explores the inverse situation where the market’s thriving business is causing global corporations to relocate.
Vitturi’s process is as fascinating as the final images. After foraging for materials in the market, he created teetering totemic assemblages with a Baroque sense of drama, collaging and overpainting his photographs. The show also includes abstracted figure studies of mobile street vendors who posed in a makeshift outdoor studio at the base of the Financial Trust building. As a whole, the exhibition reflects the complex relationship of global capital and local trade in one of Africa’s fastest growing urban centres.
OFFPRINT AT TATE MODERN’S TURBINE HALL
Offprint, the travelling art-publishing fair, brings together a global roster of 140 independent and experimental publishers celebrating art, photography and graphic design. The sheer scale of the event is a spectacle as Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall transforms into a labyrinth of stalls where you can uncover zines, magazines and limited edition books as well as attend talks and book signings. The fair has quickly become the perfect launch pad for new photo books. Look out for Harley Weir’s visual essay exploring the female body through biological conditions such as reproduction and birth in the latest issue of Baron. The book contains a new body of work, unseen fashion and documentary photographs as well as self-confessional texts by various subjects.
43-35 10th Street by Daniel Shea observes the rapacious processes of real estate development in Long Island City. Through an epic series of observations and abstractions, Shea uses surreal juxtapositions to highlight the failure of architecture’s utopian ambitions and illustrates how buildings often reinforce economic inequality.
Chloe Dewe Mathews’ book In Search of Frankenstein uses the sublime snowy expanses Mary Shelley encountered as she travelled through Switzerland to draw parallels between the themes in Frankenstein and the environmental issues of our time. When searching for the glacial landscapes that inspired Shelley’s creation, she found a grey mass of melting ice. These fragile and haunting images bare witness to the horror of climate change through the narrative of an iconic piece of fiction.
Nick Sethi’s first book Khichdi is about India’s rapidly changing identity focusing on gender, technology and the tension between Indian traditions and western culture. Shot over a ten-year period, the book unfolds into a complex web of ideas, involving the reader in a process of constant discovery and re-examination.
Peckham 24 is a festival in it’s own right, encompassing three days of exhibitions and performance in the heart of south London. Through its eight exhibitions, the ethos of founders Jo Dennis and Vivienne Gamble is to spotlight innovative and experimental artists working with photography.
My London curated by Emma Bowkett brings together specially commissioned portfolios of new work on London by nine artists based in the capital including Campbell Addy, Hannah Starkey and Jonny Briggs. Addy’s exquisite portraits celebrate non-binary, transgender and people of colour, creating a safe space for the often underrepresented and marginalised minorities.
Tom Lovelace presents Concealer at Copeland Gallery where artists including Ruth Van Beek and Hannah Hughes turn their backs on conventional photographic representation to explore, create and build new abstract languages and visual systems.
Overhaul is an exhibition exploring the collision of collaboration, science, and research-led enquiries drawing from The Peckham Experiment, a pioneering initiative set up to study rising concerns over health and well-being. The exhibition brings together artists Rhiannon Adam, Natasha Caruana, and Laura Pannack to transform Safehouse 1, a derelict terrace house in Peckham.
Photo London takes place from May 17 to 20 at Somerset House. The full list of satellite events can be found here