Resolution is not the point. Artists announced for Photo50, curated by Hemera Collective, at London Art Fair 2018
Pio Abad | Larry Achiampong | David Birkin | Foundland Collective | Qiana Mestrich (play)ground-less | Susan Schuppli | Traces of Nitrate: Ignacio Acosta, Louise Purbrick, Xavier Ribas | James Tylor and Laura Wills | Marie Yates
Fair on 17 - 21 January 2018 (Preview 16 January)
Ten artists and artist collectives have been announced for the 2018 edition of Photo50 at London Art Fair (17 - 21 January). The annual guest-curated exhibition provides a critical forum to examine and debate some of the most innovative and distinctive elements of contemporary photographic practice. The exhibition entitled Resolution is not the point. is curated by Hemera Collective , and reflects the concerns with which Hemera operates as a collaborative and evolving entity. The first Photo50 curated by a collective, the exhibition will feature artists from nine countries, including several collectives working across continents; emphasising the rise of global collaboration within photography. The exhibition will feature acclaimed British artists Larry Achiampong , Marie Yates and David Birkin alongside artists who will be showing in the UK for the first time, including New York-based Qiana Mestrich and Australian duo James Tylor and Laura Wills .
Resolution is not the point. considers photography and lens-based media as a catalyst for interdisciplinary exchange and collective action. Since the 19th century, photography has existed within and between traditional boundaries of practice, shifting between scientific apparatus and art. The works on display are linked by this desire to draw upon the metamorphic nature of the photographic image. The exhibition also reflects the increasing desire to collaborate amongst artists as they push conceptual and technical boundaries of image-making, reaching beyond their own specialisms and drawing on the circulation of images, knowledge, and resources. A key theme in this year’s selection is ecological concerns as seen in Traces of Nitrate , an ongoing research project by photographers Xavier Ribas and Ignacio Acosta , working with art historian Louise Purbrick, that investigates the colonial legacy of British investment in the nitrate and copper mining industries of Chile and the subsequent effects of global trafficking. Meanwhile, Susan Schuppli ’s film Can The Sun Lie? explores the longstanding dispute between lay knowledge and scientific expertise. The title is taken from a question posed in a landmark 1886 US court case, where photographs were first used as legal evidence and is reanimated by current climate change debates.
Resolution is not the point. also explores the way in which alternative narratives are created when original forms are reinterpreted in new contexts, particularly through the use of archival and found photographs as a tool for social and political critique. James Tylor and Laura Wills ’ project The Forgotten Wars seeks to decolonise the history of the Australian Frontier wars (1788 - 1930) between the invading British Government and Aboriginal Australians. Through a series of drawings of colonial era maps and documents on photographic prints of the contemporary rural landscape, their work challenges representations of Australian cultural identity through layered depictions of the land, combining Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives. Meanwhile, Qiana Mestrich ’s Black Doll Series abstracts original images of black dolls for sale on sites such as Etsy and Ebay. The resulting works are displayed with the seller’s original captions, prompting the viewer to challenge and deconstruct stereotypes and personal archives of visual memory.
The exhibition will also offer a platform for artists who are shifting traditional definitions of artistic production and circulation. An example of this is the four artists who form the group (play)ground-less and their piece Hollow Tongues #2 which speculates upon how 3D imaging technologies, specifically game engines, can be harnessed as a tool for shared seeing and participation through Virtual Reality (VR). Contesting the notion of VR as a perfected representation of reality, Hollow Tongues #2 combines videos, images, 3D modelling, animations and text in the form of subtitles and spoken word, experienced through VR headsets. Visitors to Photo50 will also be able to see the lesser-known photographic works by Larry Achiampong , an artist who uses imagery, live performance and sound to explore ideas surrounding class, cross-cultural and post-digital identity.
Hemera Collective, said: “We are thrilled to have been invited to be the first collective to curate the annual Photo50 exhibition at London Art Fair 2018. It is a fantastic opportunity for us to bring together an inspiring range of artists, photographers and collectives who truly explore the potential of photography to open up new ways of seeing the world. Our aim is to introduce these artists to new audiences and to celebrate the diversity of creativity that exists at this time through an exhibition that reflects our commitment to working cooperatively and collaboratively.”
Photo50 2018 is kindly supported by Genesis Imaging.