Monday, 11 November 2013

Introducing curators and artists: part V

Evening everyone,

it looks like I'm the last curator left to introduce - my name is Zosia and I am, along with Dafydd Williams, a co-founder of the*kickplate*project. I'd like to present the remaining three participants of "as you like it" - Brian Henry, Stéphane Vendran and Brandon C. Long. 

It so happens that all these photographers work with Polaroid film, often expired, and it is the colours and the magic realism of their work, rendered by the unpredictable and elusive qualities of the film, that prompted me to choose their photos for the exhibition - as one of the main things that I'm drawn to in a photograph are its hues and the story that it lets us build around one image (rather than the photographer's personal story behind the photo). The selection of photographs that I'll be showing have all been shot on SX-70. 

The photos we included in these descriptions are examples of the photographers' work, but not the ones included in the exhibition, as only between one and two photographs per artist will be shown as part of this curator's presentation and we don't want to give too much away before the opening.

Stéphane Vendran

Stéphane Vendran is a French photographer and graphic designer living and working in Montélimar. He uses a variety of medium-format cameras, including Holga, Diana, Hasselblad and Speed Graphic, and techniques, including ambrotype, but works prevalently with Polaroid. 

Many of Stéphane's photos are travel photographs and as part of the exhibition I'll be showing photographs from his series "Complètement à l'Est", shot during his 3 weeks and 6500 km-long journey from France through Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and  Hungary to Romania and back to France through Czech Republic, Austria and Germany  "whose only goal was to bathe in the Black Sea and come back". The photographs were recently shown as a diaporama in a cinema in Stéphane's home town. Stéphane also published another series of road photographs, "Sur la route... Quelque part", documenting his impressions of forgotten places off the beaten track. 

You can find Stéphane's photos in his portofolio and on Flickr.

Brian Henry 

Brian Henry is an American photographer based in Baltimore. He works with a variety of techniques and cameras and the majority of work are Polaroids, often shot on expired film. During his numerous travels, Brian photographed and explored many abandoned places in the USA and Europe, deserted both for economic and historic reasons - old factories, hotels, psychiatric hospitals and Chernobyl, drawing a pararell between his subjects and the techniques he uses.

My current portfolio reveals lost places, neglected buildings, decay, with occasional concepts conceived through dreams and strange films from the 70s. Most of my photographs are taken with vintage cameras, using Polaroid film. I am very experimental with my work and often find myself doing it "wrong" or just whatever feels right. My photos are sometimes manipulated or abused, or left in abandoned buildings to decay.

He currently runs an oddities shop in Baltimore. You can find Brian's photographs in his portofolio and on Flickr.

Brandon C. Long

Brandon C. Long is an American photographer and blogger based in San Francisco, specialising in Polaroid photography. He often uses expired film, which gives his photographs beautiful colours and a surreal atmosphere. A lot if his photos are conceptual, with recurrent motifs and characters that tell Brandon's stories. Apart from being a photographer, Brandon also runs a website, The Only Magic Left is Art, where he regularly features the work of other artists and promotes equal exposure of artists irrespective of their background. As he says:

There is an invisible revolution going on right now and the old ways are being uprooted by a new generation of artists through social media. 10 years ago, it was practically impossible to get exposure to a vast international audience without being sponsored by a high profile company.

Never before have we lived in a time where artists have an even playing field against the more privileged. Talent is finally becoming the backbone of success rather than nepotism. Money is irrelevant. Vision now has the power to go viral.

We are entering an era of "artistic equality" (...). 

You can find Brandon'd photos on his website and Flickr page.

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