London Art Fair 2013:
1971 from Byker, part of Photo50 at London Art Fair
Ian Beesley, I'll be seeing you, 1977, Courtesy of the artist
Brian Griffin, Sewage Pipelayer, Broadgate, 1986 part of Photo50 at London Art Fair
Chris Steele Perkins -G.B. ENGLAND, London, Cherry tree with plane, 2001, courtesy Chris Steele Perkins, Magnum Photos
© Chris Steele Perkins, Magnum Photos GB, ENGLAND, Northampton
Dorothy Bohm, Torn Poster, 1984, South Bank, London
Homer Sykes, Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, Abbots Bromley Stafordshire, 1973, part of Photo50 at London Art Fair
Homer Sykes, Caking Night Dungworth, Yorkshire, October 31st 1974, part of Photo50 at London Art Fair
Ian Beesley, Redundancy letter, 1977, Courtesy of the artist, Photo50 at London Art Fair
Paul Hill, Hand in car, 1975, part of Photo50 at London Art Fair
Paul Hill, If I do, you will only want more, 1975 and 2010, Photo50 at London Art Fair
On January 16th 2013 the London Art Fair opened its doors to the public for the 25th year in its usual location, the Business Design Centre in Upper Street. The majority of the exhibitors are galleries from the UK, including some of the best of London’s west-end galleries but also a great number of more up-and-coming ones.
Upstairs, in a section called Photo50, Nick Hackworth, the director of Paradise Row gallery has curated a display called ” A Cyclical Poem”. Photo50 is an annual, guest-curated show of contemporary photography and this year’s exhibition questions the nature of historical change through 50 images by eight documentary photographers and photojournalists working between 1970 and now: Chris Steele-Perkins, Homer Skyes, Ian Beesley, Dorothy Bohm, Brian Griffin, Paul Hill, Marketa Luskavoca and Sirkka-liisa Konttinen.
Photography, by its very nature, responds to our relationship with time by freezing a single moment in a frame. However, A Cyclical Poem goes further in exploring this idea of change as well as the relationship between images, time and memory.
The different photographers’ approach to the subject, however,they differ widely: some of them returned to the same or similar subjects over time, or after, a long period of time whilst others come from the same period but made with the passing of time in mind.
Nick Hackworth comments: “’A Cynical Poem’ is an elliptical meditation on the idea of historical change, instances separated by eras, of congruence and difference; it considers, through the photographic image, what has changed and what has remained the same.”
“Many of the images included date from well before the digital era. From a certain perspective this might render the show out of date, for digital culture has fundamentally altered the relationship between image, time and memory. If this is so, then this exhibition becomes, as a whole, a picture of a cultural era of scarcity and selectivity, one that is already dissolving in the vastness of the ever growing digital datastream that appears to structure contemporary experience."
Physically the exhibition space of Photo50 is sectioned off, which allows the viewer to welcome each photographer’s concept but at the same time, also to connect them all to the overall theme.
Alongside Photo50 a number of the other exhibiting galleries at London Art Fair are also exhibiting contemporary photography including Jack Bell Gallery, Purdy Hicks gallery, The Wapping Project Bankside, Troika Editions, Whitford Fine Art and Art First amongst various others.
By Anna-Maria Pfab