Sanlé Sory and Kyle Weeks connect at ‘Meeting at the Volta’ at David Hill Gallery 

Kyle Weeks, “Spo and Holali,” Accra, Ghana, 2021 © Kyle Weeks

Two generations of photographers, displayed side-by-side, powerfully capture the lively energy of West Africa. ‘Meeting at the Volta,’ at David Hill Gallery in London, features Sanlé Sory’s gentle studio-shot monochrome portraits of Burkina Faso in the 1960s-80s alongside contemporary photographer Kyle Weeks’ bold and colourful body of work, taken within the last six years on the streets of the Ghanaian capital Accra.

Read more here

Émeric Lhuisset on the power and possibilities of photography

In 1972, Associated Press photographer Nick Ut snapped a nine-year-old naked girl fleeing the Napalm bombing with a group of children. In a single frame, ‘The Terror of War’ captured the horrors and human loss of the Vietnam war. The Pulitzer Prize-winning image helped change the course of history, sparking public outrage around the world. Shortly after the image was published, the war came to an end.

‘Théâtre de guerre’ (Theatre of war) © Émeric Lhuisset

The power of a photograph to influence humanity’s collective consciousness cannot be understated. And, Émeric Lhuisset’s work is a critique of a global culture where fact and truth are in danger of losing all meaning. The French visual artist would like to tell an alternative story to contemporary photojournalism and its often sensationalized images of war and migrants, shocking at first yet quickly vanishing from memory. He wants to use the medium of photography to tell real stories of people – displaced people, the migrant, the refugee, the immigrant, the émigré.

‘L’autre rive’ images using cyanotypes © Émeric Lhuisset

Lhuisset is the latest artist to gain the support of BMW Art & Culture through its photographic residency programme at Gobelins L’École de L’Image. Earlier this month, I met with the artist in the French capital at his latest exhibition ‘L’autre rive’ (The other shore) at the annual Paris Photo. Read my interview with the artist here

Staying Power: Photographs of black British experience

The V&A in London is displaying over fifty recently acquired photographs exploring the experiences of black people in Britain in the latter half of the 20th century, enhanced by excerpts from oral histories gathered by Black Cultural Archives.

Over the last seven years the museum has been acquiring photographs by black photographers and those which document the lives of black people in Britain, a previously under-represented area in the V&A’s photographs collection.

In the collection are 118 works by 17 artists ranging from Yinka Shonibare’s large-scale series Diary of a Victorian Dandy (1998), to studies of elaborate headties worn by Nigerian women by J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, to black and white street photography of 1970s London by Al Vandenberg.

Staying Power showcases a variety of photographic responses to black British experience. On display are intimate portrayals of British-Caribbean life in London in the 1960s-70s by Neil Kenlock, Armet Francis, Dennis Morris and Charlie Phillips. Music, style and fashion are documented in Raphael Albert’s depictions of the black beauty pageants he organised from the 1960s to the 1980s to help celebrate the growing black community in Britain and Norman ‘Normski’ Anderson’s colourful depictions of vibrant youth culture of the 1980s and ‘90s.

Staying Power: Photographs of black British experience 1950s-90s, is at the V&A, London until 24 May 2015  

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Thomas Zanon-Larcher on show

Thomas Zanon-Larcher’s photographs recall the work of Claude Chabrol and Ingmar Bergman – they are dramas that examine existential anxieties. In his first solo exhibition at the Wapping Project Bankside, the artist explores the space between film, drama and reality. Here we see images of women living ordinary lives, testing the boundaries of fear, transgression, escape and pursuit in contemporary society. Zanon-Larcher’s photographs scrape away at ordinary fears, commonplace fantasies, catching at nerve ends.

Born in Italy, Zanon-Larcher originally studied structural engineering. Fascinated by process, and by the physics and machinery of photography, his work is distinguished by its mix of un-staged and narrative images that capture his protagonists’ isolation, often fixing moments of introspection and solemnity as they turn or move away from the camera.

Falling: A Part gathers a selection of photographs belonging to Zanon-Larcher’s narrative work. With these works, Zanon-Larcher continues his ongoing interest in performance, artifice and the construction of female identity in visual culture, which he has already explored in depth in his backstage work within the fashion industry. This has led him to collaborate with fashion designers who tend to challenge conventional expressions of female identity– the likes of Yohji Yamamoto, Alexander McQueen, Dries van Noten, Martin Margiela and Haider Ackerman.

Zanon-Larcher shoots at the precise moment when the essence of the unfolding drama can be captured in a single frame. Caught in an instant of pensive solitude, his protagonists are on the move, sometimes escaping someone or something, it seems always aware of where they are heading.

Falling: A Part is on exhibit from 25 January to 9 March 2013 at Wapping Project Bankside, London.

See our reports on Yohji Making Waves at the Wapping Project here.

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