Photo London Announces 2018 Talks Programme

Photo London
Mar 12, 2018 6:55PM
Fiona Struengmann
Series: Just Like You - But Different (Mountain), 2017
A.I. Gallery

Photo London has announced details of the Talks Programme for the fourth edition of the Fair, which will take place 17 – 20 May 2018 at Somerset House. The Programme will showcase the rich history of photography from its inception to the present day and will explore the future direction of the form. It will feature talks and discussions with some of the world’s most important and innovative photographers, artists, dealers, curators and writers. As well as featuring many of photography’s renowned pioneers – including Joel Meyerovitz and Boris Mikhailov – the Talks Programme will include:

• Photo London Master of Photography 2018 Edward Burtynsky in conversation with curator and writer William A. Ewing

• Cornelia Parker discusses the influence of 19th-century photographer William Henry Fox Talbot with Hans P Kraus Jr.

• Darren Almond discusses his solo exhibition at Photo London

• Terry O’Neill and Douglas Kirkland on photographing the music, fashion, style and celebrity of the 1960s

• Acclaimed stage designer Es Devlin discusses the special photographic project she has conceived for Photo London

• Leica and Photo London present a talk with Bruce Gilden, which explores his exhilarating and intriguing street photography

• The Royal Photographic Society present Susan Lipper, one of the most critically acclaimed photographers of our time

The Photo London Talks Programme is curated by William A. Ewing, renowned curator and writer, former Director of the Musée de l’Elysée, and former Director of Exhibitions at the International Center of Photography, New York. Commenting on the Talks Programme, Ewing said: ‘Invisible Images, Evolving Spaces, Theatre of the Real, Articles of Glass, Turning Time, Vanishing Point… these are some of the intriguing titles given to talks by our distinguished cast of speakers in this year’s Photo London Talks Programme. With undisputed masters, mid-career photographers, and emerging talents, we can look forward to lively debates on a full range of issues which concern today’s image-makers. With the exception of one or two lectures, most of the talks are set up as informal discussions with noted curators and critics, a dynamic format which has more than proven its worth since our Talks Programme began. I don’t intend to miss any of the talks, and hope to share the experience with others keen to get a handle on our rapidly mutating field.’

Michael Benson and Fariba Farshad, Founding Directors of Photo London, said: ‘Once again William A. Ewing has curated a stellar Talks Programme. We are thrilled to be able to present so many outstanding artists to our London audience. These talks are the jewel in the crown of our Public Programme that also includes extraordinary exhibitions and installations, a programme of screenings and a number of other special events. It is the richness of this Programme that makes Photo London an event like no other.’

The Photo London Talks Programme 2018:


10 – 10:45am - Darren Almond

Acclaimed artist Darren Almond will speak about his diverse practice which incorporates film, installation, sculpture, painting and photography, to produce evocative meditations on time and duration as well as the themes of personal and historical memory. Reflecting upon the exhibition White Cube presents Darren Almond at Photo London 2018, this talk will delve into Almond’s artistic intentions. Almond will speak in conversation with William A. Ewing.

11am – 12noon - Invisible Images: Trevor Paglen

Trevor Paglen’s practice explores secrecy, surveillance and the state in projects from across his portfolio. Paglen’s work investigates the ongoing interaction between contemporary life and surveillance and looks to interrogate and challenge covert and potentially invisible surveillance technologies.

12.30 – 1.30pm - Articles of Glass: Fox Talbot to Parker

Cornelia Parker will discuss the influence that 19th-century photographer William Henry Fox Talbot has had on the arc of her work with gallerist, publisher and curator Hans P. Kraus Jr. The talk will explore how Parker’s work continues and builds upon the legacy of Fox Talbot, and how historic techniques are still relevant in contemporary photography practice. Work by Cornelia Parker will be included in the exhibition Sun Pictures Then and Now: Talbot and his Legacy Today at Photo London 2018.

2 – 3pm - Theatre of the Real: Simon Roberts

For over a decade, Simon Roberts has photographed events and places across Britain that have drawn people together in public, reflecting on the nature of our shared histories and communal experiences. Simon Roberts, who was the official election artists in 2010, will explore identity and community, and the complex relationship between history, place and culture.

3.30 – 5pm - Evolving Spaces: Photography and the Museum

From Stockholm to London to New York the face of the photography space is changing dramatically. In London the Victoria and Albert Museum have announced plans for a much expanded photography centre that will open in Autumn 2018. In 2019 in New York the International Center of Photography (ICP) will locate all of its activities in an exciting new building. The photography scene in both cities will receive a considerable boost with the arrival of Stockholm’s pioneering Fotografiska. Tommy Rönngren, Founding Partner and Chairman of the Board of Fotografiska, Stockholm, Martin Barnes, Senior Curator of Photographs at Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and Mark Lubell, Executive Director, ICP, will discuss the impact of these changes on the world of photography.

5.30 – 6.45pm - Master of Photography: Edward Burtynsky

Photo London Master of Photography 2018 Edward Burtynsky and curator and writer William A. Ewing will discuss the ‘essential elements’ of Burtynsky’s work. Ranging across the thirty years of Burtynsky’s practice and featuring new works, his exhibition at Photo London 2018 and this talk will explore diverse subjects, while focusing on the sublime aesthetic qualities of industrialised landscapes and the unsettling reality of depleting resources of the planet. This event will feature a preview of his latest project Anthropocene, including prints and a clip of a forthcoming feature film.

7 – 8pm - offsite at The National Portrait Gallery - Mary McCartney

Photographer Mary McCartney will talk to Martin Barnes, Senior Curator of Photographs at Victoria and Albert Museum, about her portraiture, her move into motion, her love of dance and what she does best - capturing intimate almost voyeuristic moments. This talk will be presented in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery and will take place off-site at the National Portrait Gallery.


10am – 10.45am - Es Devlin

Stage designer Es Devlin will speak about the special photographic project she has conceived for Photo London 2018. The discussion will explore how Devlin’s kinetic sculptures in opera and theatre, which incorporate elements of photography and film, have influenced her contemporary artwork, and how ideas of memory, matter, identity and place intermix and interact.

11am – 12noon - Staged Reality: Alex Prager

Alex Prager’s photography, which primarily uses staged figures to create meticulously devised mise en scène, is often described as filmic and hyperreal, synthesizing uncanny images of fiction and reality. Her images touch upon themes of voyeurism, alienation and anxiety, capturing a fractional slice of a narrative, inviting the viewer to complete the story. Prager will discuss her photographic practice with Nathalie Herschdorfer, Director of Museé des Beaux-arts, Le Locle, Switzerland and a long-time curator with the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography (FEP).

12.30 – 2pm - Defining the 60s: Kirkland and O’Neill

Terry O’Neill and Douglas Kirkland, both renowned photographers, will discuss the world of 1960s music, fashion, style and celebrity photography. While other photographers of the 1960s concentrated on earthquakes, wars and politics, O’Neill and Kirkland realised that youth culture was a breaking news story on a global scale and began chronicling the emerging faces of film, fashion and music who would go on to define the 1960s, including Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, The Rolling Stones, Bridget Bardot, Coco Chanel, Michael Caine and The Beatles.

2.30 – 3.30pm - Turning Time: Vera Lutter

Vera Lutter’s camera-less photography challenges the way we see the world, capturing cities, buildings and iconic monuments in such a way that they become unfamiliar and otherworldly. Vera Lutter and Martin Barnes, Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert  Museum, will discuss Lutter’s practice. Lutter’s work will also be included in the exhibition Sun Pictures Then and Now: Talbot and his Legacy Today at Photo London 2018.

4 – 5pm - Vanishing Point: Thomas Struth

German photographer Thomas Struth and Tobia Bezzola, Director of The Museo d’arte della Svizzera Italiana (MASI Lugano), will explore Struth’s photographic subjects, technique and influences. Whilst people are conspicuously absent from his street photographs of 1970s Düsseldorf, New York and Paris, Struth’s renowned images of museums and family portraits are crowded with people. This discussion will explore how Struth’s photographs reveal the cultural, historical and psychological intricacies of looking, which permeate contemporary culture.

5.30 – 6.45pm - The Royal Photographic Society Annual Lecture: Susan Lipper

The Royal Photographic Society will present Susan Lipper, one of the most critically acclaimed photographers of our time, whose work is widely held in prestigious museums and galleries worldwide. Awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015, Lipper will discuss different themes from the breadth of her portfolio, including work from her new monograph, Domesticated Land, which will be released by MACK at Photo London, and takes its title from the forgotten historic female pioneers traversing the plains across America and their desire to domesticate the land rather than conquer it.

7 – 8pm - Leica presents Bruce Gilden

Photo London and Leica will present a talk with Leica ambassador and photographer Bruce Gilden. The talk, TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, will explore Gilden’s unique and intriguing street photography and his powerful large-scale portraits. Gilden’s photographs focus on strong characters and to apply Robert Capa’s mantra to his own work: “if the picture isn’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”. Gilden joined Magnum Photos in 1998 and became a Guggenheim Fellow in 2013. Gilden’s work will be on display at Photo London 2018 in the Leica Collectors Lounge located in the Fair’s new River Terrace pavilion.


10 – 10.45am - Allegory: Raphaël Dallaporta

Discover the work of Raphaël Dallaporta, an exciting and provocative voice among a new generation of international photographers. Speaking with Shoair Mavlian, Director of Photoworks, Dallaporta will discuss his thoughtful projects that examine warfare, violence, power and the fragility of life, for which he has garnered widespread acclaim.

11am – 12noon - Night Swimming: Esther Teichmann

Ester Teichmann will speak about her large-scale photographic and filmic works that examine ideas of loss, grief and desire with writer, curator and artist David Campany. The discussion will consider how Teichmann’s work extends beyond the conventional bounds of photography, incorporating painting, sculpture and film to create immersive installations that envelop the viewer. Teichmann will also introduce her latest projects, including a monograph of visual works and writing, forthcoming by Stanley/ Barker.

12.30 – 2pm - Beyond Photography A panel discussion with Milo Keller and artists Lorenzo Vitturi and Alix Marie, chaired by Lucy Soutter

Contemporary artists are pioneering new forms in which photography intersects with sculpture, installation, performance, the book and emerging digital technologies. Artists Lorenzo Vitturi and Alix Marie will introduce their different approaches to working across photography and other mediums. Milo Keller, photographer and Head of Bachelor Photography at ECAL - École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne, will discuss educational approaches to augmented photography. The conversation moderated by Lucy Soutter, a writer and Course Leader of the Photography Arts MA at the University of Westminster.

2.15 – 3.15pm - Why Colour: Joel Meyerowitz

Joel Meyerowitz is recognised as one of the earliest advocates and most accomplished practitioners of colour art photography. Meyerowitz will explore how colour is inherent in his practice and informs the photographs he takes. With a diverse portfolio from street scenes, to portraits, to landscapes, to still life and documentary photography, this talk will explore the iconic images that have made Meyerowitz a pioneer of colour photography and altered the canon of art photography. The talk will be introduced by Robert Shore, Creative Director of Elephant, and will be followed by a signing of Meyerowitz’s latest book, Joel Meyerowitz: Where I Find Myself: A Lifetime Retrospective and the new edition of Bystander: The History of Street Photography.

3.30 – 4.30pm - Compressed Life: Michael Wolf

Distinguished photographer Michael Wolf, whose practice makes maximum use of twenty-firstcentury photographic technology and tools, speaks to Francis Hodgson, Professor in the Culture of Photography at the University of Brighton. Wolf’s work focuses on the architecture and vernacular culture of city living, often in megacities such as Hong Kong and Tokyo. His work often displays a fascination with densely packed housing, where architecture becomes abstracted into planes of lines and colours, and the human dimension is almost lost. At other times, as in his famous series Tokyo Compression (currently touring the world as part of the Prix Pictet shortlist), which treats the experience of commuters taking the Tokyo trains, he looks at the physical consequences of overpopulation on a human scale.

5 – 6pm - An-My Lê

An-My Lê is a Vietnamese- American photographer who is widely recognised as one of the most distinctive image makers in the US. In 2012, she was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. An-My Lê's photographs and films examine the impact, consequences, and representation of war. Whether in colour or black-and-white, her pictures frame a tension between the natural landscape and its violent transformation into sites of battle, whether real or imaginary. She will be in conversation with Kate Bush, Adjunct Curator of Photography at Tate Britain.

6.15 – 7.16pm - Boris Mikhailov

In a rare and privileged talk, renowned Ukrainian artist Boris Mikhailov will speak about his challenging and provocative photographs that document the human casualties in post-communist Eastern Europe. Since the mid-1960s, Mikhailov has produced uncompromising yet somewhat  humorous portraits of people living on the margins of society, creating astounding works that document those which were not able to find their place in the new social system after the breakdown of the Soviet Union.


12noon – 1pm - Double Take: Cortis & Sonderegger

Artists Cortis & Sonderegger will be in conversation with Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery. The discussion will focus on their photographic practice, including their project ICONS, which saw the artists recreate iconic historic photographs in their studio in miniature out of craft materials.

1.30 – 2.30pm - On the Precipice: Philippe Chancel

French photographer Philippe Chancel will discuss his work and photographic practice, exploring how his images experiment with photography in the complex, shifting and fertile territory where documentary art and journalism intersect. Discussing his project Datazone, this talk will be an insight into what images mean in the contemporary world. Alona Pardo, Curator at the Barbican Art Gallery, will be in discussion with Chancel.

4 – 5.30pm - Discovery: Alternative Matter

A unique discussion with emerging artists from the Photo London Discovery Section, including Jo Dennis, whose practice explores people and place by documenting worn and well-used spaces, and Thomas Kuijpers, who investigates how image and text are used to create a narrative. Moderated by Discovery Section curator, Tristan Lund, the talk will include conversations on how these artists create strategies to promote their work whilst still retaining their own identity.

As well as the Talks, this year’s Photo London will present a rich programme of screenings and other events:

Chinese Video Art from the DSL Collection - Building on Photo London’s relationship with DSL, which saw a special exhibition presented in 2017, this year there will be special screenings of works from the DLS Collection. With films from acclaimed contemporary Chinese artists, including Qui Anxiong, Zhang Ding, Mia Xiaochun, Wang Sichun, Cheng Ran, and Yang Yongliang, the programme is a curated selection which explores diverse themes from historical and political events, to contemporary life, pollution, the psyche of China’s younger generation and globalisation. A new film by Zheng Guogu will also be presented.

Magic Lantern Show - Photo London 2018 will host a screening of A Lantern Slide Journey up Mount Everest. This three-minute film reimagines the experience of a magic lantern slide show, following the journey of intrepid travellers as they attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1921 and 1922. The magic lantern slides are drawn from the many thousands of items that make up the Royal Photographic Society Collection at the V&A. This film is a preview of the content now being selected for the V&A’s new Photography Centre, opening in October 2018.

Foam Talent 2018

Friday 18 May, 2 – 4pm - This Talks session will celebrate the Foam Talent 2018 exhibition, on display at Beaconsfield Gallery, Vauxhall. Foam magazine’s annual Talent Call has proved to be not only a platform that introduces emerging talents to the international world of photography, but also to creative industries in the fields of fashion, design, advertising and even news media. The session will take place is three parts: Spoken Column: a discussion with a leading journalist about how photography works within the media and the mutually beneficial relationship between image and word. Scouting and Presenting Talent: this talk will explore how photographers are discovered and how agents and organisations work with and for artists, as well as insights into other possible pathways for young visual artists to emerge outside of the established photography context. Spotlight on Talent: a Foam Talent artist will discuss their work.

Book Dummy Award -  La Fábrica and Photo London will present the work of Swiss/Iranian photographer Arunà Canevascini, winner of the first Book Dummy Award, which launched at Photo London 2017. The Award invites photographers to submit an unpublished dummy book with a unique and international focus. The chosen book is then published with the support of the Award, which includes a substantial print run, worldwide distribution and display at international festivals and fairs. The Book Dummy Award will be open for submissions again from 17 May 2018.

Book Tickets: To book tickets for the Photo London Talks Programme at Somerset House visit:

To book tickets for the Photo London Talks Programme at the National Portrait Gallery visit:

Photo London 2018 Building on the success of the previous three editions, Photo London 2018 will showcase the very best of the past, present and future of photography to a growing international audience. Emerging artists will be presented alongside new work by established masters and rare vintage pieces. The Fair will take place between 17 – 20 May 2018 (Preview 16 May) at Somerset House and will include 108 galleries from 18 different countries.

17 – 20 May 2018 (Invitation-only preview on 16 May 2018)

Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA #PhotoLondonFair18

Photo London