I’ve been really busy lately trying to keep up with planning my dissertation and also working on my FMP which means I haven’t posted on here for the last 3 weeks. So I’m going to backtrack a bit and start off by writing a quick post about my trip to London at the end of October.
A small group of us from the final year of our Photography course set off for London on the coach to go and visit 2 different galleries. The first was the P21 Gallery near Kings Cross where we went to have a look around the current exhibition called Autonomy of Self. We spent a while having a wander around the exhibition ourselves – it was only small but had some really interesting work in it.
One of the most intriguing pieces for me was Khiam – a 2 part film by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige where prisoners of the Khiam detention camp in South Lebanon were interviewed about their experiences of living as prisoners within the camp. The second film showed the same people being interviewed but after the camp was liberated, and later bombed. It was really interesting to hear what life was like in the camp from people who actually experienced it first hand. I also found it very unusual that a lot of the prisoners became quite attached to their personal cells where they spent their time, and they were upset that the camp had been destroyed as it was a part of their history that no longer existed.
After spending some time looking around at all the art works we met with the curator of the exhibition – Joy Stacey – who explained to us about how she became involved in the exhibition and the process she went through to get it all set up. She then walked with us around the gallery talking about each installation in more detail and answering any questions from the group.
We then left the gallery and decided to find somewhere for dinner so we set off and ended up walking over to Oxford Street and the Soho area (after getting lost a fair few times!) and eventually settled in a small local pub for some food and a pint. After re-fueling ourselves we then set off for The Photographer’s Gallery where we explored the different levels showing 2 exhibitions – Burden of Proof: The Construction of Visual Evidence & Noémie Goudal: Southern Light Stations. Both were extremely interesting and I really enjoyed looking around. I found the forensic portraits by Alphonse Bertillion particularly intriguing! We spent a few hours here and also had a quick look around the book shop downstairs. They also sold a whole load of film cameras which I loved looking at as I am very into shooting film and have a collection of vintage and retro cameras myself – I could have spent a fortune in there!
Overall, it was a worthwhile trip (although being on the coach for 5 hours didn’t feel fun at the time!) and I’m glad I got to see these exhibitions in person. I really hope I can get out to see more exhibitions and attend some photo festivals this year as it’s so much better to see work in real life compared to on a screen, and it’s a great place to find inspiration and potentially meet the artists or other important people within the photographic business.