Wednesday, 21 March 2012

1000 Words Photography Magazine #13

We are proud to present issue 13 of 1000 Words, “Uncertainty”, our first release of 2012. To view it please go to

“I can make no statement about reality clearer than my own relationship to reality; and this has a great deal to do with imprecision, uncertainty, transience, incompleteness, or whatever. But this doesn’t explain the pictures. At best it explains what led to their being painted.” So said Gerhard Richter whose paintings have taught us a thing or two about such matters.

Photography’s own intriguing relationship to uncertainty is what we have set out to enact within the current edition of 1000 Words. Featuring Roger Ballen, Natasha Caruana, Viviane Sassen, Raymond Meeks and Deborah Luster, Christer Strömholm and W.M. Hunt alongside essays, reviews and interviews by Gerry Badger, Sue Steward, Peggy Sue Amison, Louise Clements, Michael Grieve and Brad Feuerhelm, the bodies of work in this issue tap into a fundamental mood of uncertainty and reveal some of its dimensions of expression: the mystery caused by a lack of knowledge on the part of the observer or the fraught politics of representation when portraying ‘the other’; the unnerving combination of a documentary approach with staging and construction or the ambiguity between fact, fiction and stories; the experimental inaccuracies of an image or the fragmented and indeterminate narratives that typify many of today's photobooks are all but a few examples.

In the dedicated Books section, we cover Christian Patterson, Morten Anderson and Ori Gerhst’s recently released titles with reviews from Michael Grieve, Sean Stoker and Oliver Whitehead.

At best, photography should embrace the most difficult things of our world - the dissonant, the awkward, the unclassifiable - in order to help us posit new understandings of what it means to be a human being. It could be said that photography which is analogous with existentialism, an investigation of subjectivity, is the kind of photography that has the most beauty, poetry and truth, especially at a time when the world seems all too unsure of itself.

Once again, 1000 thanks to all the photographers, writers, editorial and art departments as well as of course our advertisers for making this magazine possible.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Hijacked III @QUAD, Derby

© Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin

Just opened at QUAD Derby, Hijacked III is a "major survey exhibition and publication featuring the best photographic talents from or within Australia and the UK". Known for halting the status quo, arresting the scene and exploding a new perspective on the practices of contemporary photography, this third edition of the biennale Hijacked series explores the world through the eyes and works of 32 international photographers from or within the UK and Australia. The exhibition will be on display simultaneously in QUAD with a partner version at PICA in Perth Australia and events will include live link ups for workshops, artist’s talks. Hijacked III is curated by Louise Clements QUAD & FORMAT International Photography Festival UK, Mark McPherson Big City Press Australia, Leigh Robb PICA Aus.

The featured photographers from Australia are: Tony Albert, Warwick Baker, Bindi Cole, Christopher Day, Tarryn Gill & Pilar Mata Dupont, Toni Greaves, Petrina Hicks, Alin Huma, Katrin Koenning, David Manley, Jesse Marlow, Tracey Moffatt, Justin Spiers, Michelle Tran, Christian Thompson, Michael Ziebarth.

Those representing the UK are: Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Natasha Caruana, Maciej Dakowicz, Melinda Gibson, Leonie Hampton, Rasha Kahil, Seba Kurtis, Trish Morrissey,  Laura Pannack, Sarah Pickering, Zhao Renhui, Simon Roberts, Helen Sear, Luke Stephenson, Wassink & Lundgren, Tereza Zelenkova.

HijackedIII:Contemporary Photography from Australia and the UK will be on display in QUAD until 6 May. Below is a video interview with the curators Louise Clements, Mark McPherson and Leigh Robb, courtesy of Troika Editions, and a version of the exhibition catalogue essay, re-published with permission.

Hijacked is a focused photographic anthology that explores two geographically divorced, historically connected communities. In this instance the United Kingdom and Australia are brought into the spotlight to locate and stimulate conflicting dialogues that that provoke the consideration of cultural specificity and diversity. The participating photographers were sourced via an open and collaborative process by Big City Press, QUAD/FORMAT and PICA, through the use of blogs, social and professional networks thereby expanding the reach and ability of the project to reflect the multiplicity of cultural identities. It is clear throughout the book that the narratives, influences, differences and specificities of the UK and Australia provide rich material for photographers to refer to. From becoming a nun after being proposed to by God via YouTube, to national identity and pride on the battlefield of sport; the appropriation and dissection of the photograph as contemporary art, to the aborigination of objects and the poetics of Welsh nightlife; together with the influence of the pop culture conflicts between Neighbours and Home and Away versus Eastenders and Coronation Street; alongside the fact of having shared Queen.  The project comes with no agenda to answer the questions about whether there is an Australian or UK identity in photography. Instead it creates a framework that invites deconstruction and reflection while showcasing the socially, culturally, politically and aesthetically diverse practices and points of view from a wide selection of photographers who work within and outside the contexts of the two countries.

Certainly no-one solely derives their interpretation of the world purely from the mass media and the internet, we are still unquestionably rooted in local, social, educational and familial landscapes, all of which can be positioned around the world. The idea of nation or a national identity relates to the power and control of communities, based on adopted myths of racial or cultural origin. Asserting and maintaining these identities was a key part of the imperial process and an important feature of much imperial and colonial politics. Instead of seeing the geographic definitions of the United Kingdom and Australia as singular identities, cultural hybridity emphasises their mutual intermingling, reference points and inevitable homogenisation with other international threads. This model of hybridity is based on thousands of influences entering into a form of dialogue through the fluidity of access to digital information, international social communication and global mobility. We understand and live simultaneously amongst multiple languages with their numerous modes of influence and significance, whether conscious of this influence or not. Between these languages we have to negotiate meaning, structure memory and define identity. We have become 'Janus' type figures with one face looking at the past and the other towards the future, whilst living in a post-modern, multi cultural landscape in which we must wrestle for cultural space. Artists have embraced this hybridised position not as a failure or denigration, but as a part of the contestation inherent in the weave of cultures.

In art, hybridity expands the possibilities for experimentation and innovation through the blurring and cross-breeding of traditional definitions between practices. Artists are notorious for their ability to hijack; meaning to stop and hold up, to seize control by use of force in order to divert, or appropriate, a deliberate attempt to action to change direction. Like the Situationist tactic of détournement championed by Guy Debord, it is an intentional action that disrupts and ruptures the habitual, turning it aside from its normal course or purpose.  All cultures can be defined by their ability to assimilate new ideas and adapt to change.  Although we live in an exposed version of remix culture, the phenomenon of remixing is not new. Digital technologies like networking, hypermedia and sampling have significantly accelerated the speed at which cultural material is distributed and made available to be repurposed; the ability to generate and incorporate new combinations of ideas is normal.  Contesting boundaries, breaking rules and creating hybrids occupies much artistic work, however, creating meaning by whatever materials or techniques are employed remains central to artistic practice. Be it the exploration of the sensibility for suburban melancholy, Indigenous culture and gender politics in Australia or the decadent drinking habits, reinterpretation of archives and curious weekend leisure pursuits in the United Kingdom the photographers and writers included in Hijacked3 will take you on a journey into the incredible and extraordinary worlds on opposite sides of the globe.  From surprising perspectives on portraiture and critically engaged collage, to images that map society at its best and worst moments, these conflicting photographic practices question what it means to look, create and construct images in the 21st century. This publication is a major survey contributing to the field and documenting the best photographic talents of today.  Representing the leading, boundary testing, fearless, fringe dwelling artists, whose work is rich with evocative, poetic, confounding and confronting imagery, ready to communicate, offering a transitory and relational view into the life and times of both countries and beyond.

Louise Clements is the Artistic Director and Curator at QUAD and also the Co-founder and Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival, Derby, UK. 

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

1000 Words Talk: Simon Baker in conversation with Chris Shaw

All images © Chris Shaw

*10.04.12-SOLD OUT*

1000 Words is pleased to present Before and After the Night Porter, a conversation with Simon Baker and Chris Shaw.

Daniel Blau Gallery, London 

11 April 2012, 7pm

During Tokyo Photo Fair 2011, Simon Baker, Curator of Photography and International Art at Tate, presented the work of British photographer, Chris Shaw, together with Japanese post-war, avant-garde photographers of the Provoke movement, Eikoh Hosoe, Daido Moriyama, Kirkuji Kirwada, Takuma Nakahira, Masahisa Fukase and Ikko Narrahara, who, from a distance, served as a major inspiration to Shaw’s attitude and approach beginning with his celebrated book, Life as a Night Porter. The evening’s discussion will examine Baker and Shaws passion for Japanese photography and its influence on his practice.

To book your ticket, click on the Paypal button below:

Chris Shaw
began working in London hotels in 1993 and over a ten year period he created what would become Life as a Night Porter which was published in 2006 by Twin Palms. Born in 1967, Shaw studied photography at the West Surrey College of Art and Design at Farnham, graduating in 1989, and has had solo exhibitions at the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool, GUP Gallery in Amsterdam and 779 Gallery in Paris. Shaw has also been shown as part of Paris Photo and Arles Photography Festival in 2005.  He lives in Paris.

His work was featured in issue 12 of 1000 Words.

Simon Baker is Curator of Photography and International Art at Tate. He is Tate’s first curator of photography and joined in 2009 from the University of Nottingham, where he was Associate-Professor of Art History. He has researched and written widely on surrealism, photography, and contemporary art; and co-curated the exhibitions Undercover Surrealism: Georges Bataille and Documents (Hayward Gallery, London, 2006) and Close-Up: Proximity and defamiliarisation in art, film, and photography (The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 2008).

Our talks are open to everyone. We recommend booking early to avoid disappointment. Numbers are limited to 60 people.

Daniel Blau Gallery
51 Hoxton Square
London N1 6BP
+44 (0) 207 831 7998

*10.04.12-SOLD OUT*