Tag Archives: Demise

Photo News – Laura Noble issues open letter about closure of Diemar/Noble photography gallery and launch of new L A Noble Gallery

Today Laura Noble sent out an open letter to her network about the closing of the Diemar/Noble Gallery, billed as “one of the capital’s top spots for photography” (see below). The word was out and about on twitter where followers commented on the demise of the gallery. However, it’s not all bad news as from the ashes new things – the L A Noble Gallery – are created, so I’m sharing the letter with you all:

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness I write to tell you that, after three amazing years, Diemar/Noble Photography has closed its shutters for the last time. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for your support. Without the patronage of clients and visitors, the enthusiasm of the press and the ambition and talent of our artists, we would not have achieved so much in such a short time.

Diemar/Noble was always more to me than a gallery, it was – and remains – a community. If the legacy of the gallery is to leave even a little more passion and excitement for photography in this City, then it is an achievement I will be very proud of.

Without you sharing in the vision, the gallery could never have hoped to become “one of the capital’s top spots for photography” (Time Out) over such a modest time. I hope you can share my pride in all that the gallery has achieved.

My time as Co-Director at Diemar/Noble has been a life affirming one and deepened my love for all things photographic. The opportunity to explore different avenues in the future may have drawn this venture to a close but my commitment to photography remains and the next chapter promises to build on that. My involvement with photography is an on-going and passionate one. I will continue to carry out portfolio reviews and consultations, lectures for photographers and collectors as well as my other writing and curating projects.

Most exciting of all, I have now established the L A Noble Gallery, which I shall be launching at the Unseen art fair in Amsterdam on the 19th of September. The lauraannnoble.com website will also be launched on the same day.

Now looking forward to my next challenge, I am excited to see what the future will hold for myself, the photographers with whom I work and those exciting new talents we have yet to discover.

I do hope that you will stay in touch and join me for future endeavors.

Yours faithfully in gratitude,

Laura Noble

Filed under: Art Galleries Tagged: closing, Diemar/Noble Photography, Laura Noble, london, photo gallery, Unseen art fair

Photo Shows – Group show I LOVE YOU opens at Tenderpixel London and Mahtab Hussain’s Building Desires on show at mac Birmingham

©EJ Major, Marie Claire RIP (2004-2007). photograph courtesy of the artist.

Today two shows, one opening this week in London and another that has already opened in Birmingham. I LOVE YOU is a group show curated by Richard Ansett at Tenderpixel in London. The show runs from Friday this week until 16 June. One of the series on show is EJ Major‘s Marie Claire RIP (2004-2007), see photo above.

©Mahtab Hussain from Building Desires show. Photo courtesy of the photographer

Already on show and running until 10 June in Birmingham, Mahtab Hussain shows his series of portraits Building Desires at mac Birmingham. Go see, go look, go ponder identity in contemporary British society as explored through the lens of Hussain, who describes himself as a British Pakistani Kashmiri, and asks the question: What does it mean to be a British Pakistani male today?

I LOVE YOU
A photograph is a secret about a secret…the more it tells you the less you know. Diane Arbus
Major says of the series: ”Marie Claire RIP is based on an article published in Marie Claire magazine in 2002 featuring police mug-shots of the same woman taken over a fourteen year period. The article revealed that not long after the last picture was taken the woman was found dead. Marie Claire RIP is a re-staging of these images using the artist as subject.

“This piece was motivated by a desire to memorialise an unnamed person, a woman who had already died and had no control over the use of her image. At the same time the piece is intended to be non-specific in terms of the nature of the character’s demise.. While the piece challenges the veracity of the photographic portrait it also finds an authenticity in a notion of self-portraiture that involves acting. It is me and it isn’t her and yet it is her and it isn’t me at the same time.”

I LOVE YOU also includes work by Grace Brown, Natasha Caruana, Pete McGovern and Andre Penteado. I have to admit though that I am a bit stumped by the accompanying text to the show and how exactly it relates to the title and theme of the show. I leave it with you, dear readers, to follow the link and enlighten me as to how it applies. I get the gist and I can understand some of the references but am not sure how it relates. That said, I will pop along to the opening on Friday briefly as I am back on UK terra firma.

And on the topic of I Love You, here’s a link to the short video mash-up to Lionel Richie’s Hello that I posted in February but feel like linking to again.

BUILDING DESIRES
Hussain’s project – created over the last four years since he was at Goldsmiths studying for a BA in Art History – introduces three key elements of masculinity; the young boy bound by cultural and religious constraints, the teenager who begins to form a new identity on the streets away from the security of family, and the contemporary Pakistani male who has adopted desirable mainstream ideals of what it mean to be man living in the UK.

For Building Desires, Hussain is also engaging with the local community in Birmingham and has created a live working wall where the audience can answer his key question about identity. “I also add an interview (text format) that I have conducted with an individual each week, talking about masculinity and identity and also an image of the week.” I saw some of Hussain’s portraits from the ongoing series quite a while back and was impressed by his gentle approach to both the individual photographic subjects as well as the topic of identity, as a whole. However, I’ve yet to see the recent portraits.

See more from the project…

©Mahtab Hussain from Building Desires show. Photo courtesy of the photographer

©Mahtab Hussain from Building Desires show. Photo courtesy of the photographer

Filed under: Documentary photography, Photographers, Photography Shows, Visual Artists, Women Photographers Tagged: Building Desires, EJ Major, I LOVE YOU, london, mac Birmigham, Mahtab Hussain, Marie Claire RIP, portraiture, Tenderpixel Gallery

Ej Major @Matt Roberts Arts, London







All images ©Ej Major

A buzz surrounds Ej Major’s one man show that opens on Thursday at Matt Roberts Arts, winner of the 2011 Salon Photo Prize (sponsored by 1000 Words). Of the work on display, most notable is her clever faux biography entitled Marie Claire RIP.

“These series of 12 images,” Major explains, “is based on an article published in Marie Claire in 2002, which featured police mug-shots of a [heroin addict] taken over a fourteen year period. The article revealed that not long after the last picture was taken the woman was found dead.”

She adds, “Marie Claire RIP is a re-staging of these images using myself as subject. I intended the piece to be non-specific in terms of the nature of the character’s demise. There is no direct reference to heroin addiction. The series may be read in terms of each person’s story or experience who views it. While the piece challenges the veracity of the photographic portrait it also finds an authenticity in a notion of self-portraiture that involves acting. It is me and it isn’t her and yet it is her and it isn’t me at the same time.”

This exhibition runs from Friday 2 September to Saturday 24 September. Matt Roberts Arts, Unit 1, 25 Vyner Street, London, E2 9DG.

Ej Major @Matt Roberts Arts, London







All images ©Ej Major

A buzz surrounds Ej Major’s one man show that opens on Thursday at Matt Roberts Arts, winner of the 2011 Salon Photo Prize (sponsored by 1000 Words). Of the work on display, most notable is her clever faux biography entitled Marie Claire RIP.

“These series of 12 images,” Major explains, “is based on an article published in Marie Claire in 2002, which featured police mug-shots of a [heroin addict] taken over a fourteen year period. The article revealed that not long after the last picture was taken the woman was found dead.”

She adds, “Marie Claire RIP is a re-staging of these images using myself as subject. I intended the piece to be non-specific in terms of the nature of the character’s demise. There is no direct reference to heroin addiction. The series may be read in terms of each person’s story or experience who views it. While the piece challenges the veracity of the photographic portrait it also finds an authenticity in a notion of self-portraiture that involves acting. It is me and it isn’t her and yet it is her and it isn’t me at the same time.”

This exhibition runs from Friday 2 September to Saturday 24 September. Matt Roberts Arts, Unit 1, 25 Vyner Street, London, E2 9DG.

Ej Major @Matt Roberts Arts, London







All images ©Ej Major

A buzz surrounds Ej Major’s one man show that opens on Thursday at Matt Roberts Arts, winner of the 2011 Salon Photo Prize (sponsored by 1000 Words). Of the work on display, most notable is her clever faux biography entitled Marie Claire RIP.

“These series of 12 images,” Major explains, “is based on an article published in Marie Claire in 2002, which featured police mug-shots of a [heroin addict] taken over a fourteen year period. The article revealed that not long after the last picture was taken the woman was found dead.”

She adds, “Marie Claire RIP is a re-staging of these images using myself as subject. I intended the piece to be non-specific in terms of the nature of the character’s demise. There is no direct reference to heroin addiction. The series may be read in terms of each person’s story or experience who views it. While the piece challenges the veracity of the photographic portrait it also finds an authenticity in a notion of self-portraiture that involves acting. It is me and it isn’t her and yet it is her and it isn’t me at the same time.”

This exhibition runs from Friday 2 September to Saturday 24 September. Matt Roberts Arts, Unit 1, 25 Vyner Street, London, E2 9DG.

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Just as Google launches, Google+, it’s latest attempt at a social network and an attempt to lure people away from Facebook, I thought I would share a piece that I have written for the latest issue of European Photography (which comes out today) that deals with the impact of blogs and social networks on the way we consume and understand photography. If you are interested in looking further into the online photography world I also recommend checking out the previous issue of European Photography (no. 88) on ‘Net Photography’ which investigates some of the trends in photography that is being produced specifically for and distributed through the web.

Blogs have always been fragile creatures: statistics show that around 70% of them die within their first month. And now, only a decade after they first appeared, some are concerned that they are becoming an endangered species. While I am relatively new to blogging (I started eyecurious in April 2009), even in my short virtual lifetime a lot has changed. Particularly in the last year, a significant part of the online activity relating to photography has moved to online social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. So are we witnessing the demise of the blog? As with most of these dichotomous debates linked to technology (printed versus digital books, analog versus digital photography, etc.) I think the question is not so much whether (or when) the new will kill off the old, but rather how they are influencing each other. More specifically, what impact is the rise of social networks having on the online conversation on photography?

In a recent piece Andy Adams summarised the impact of blogs and social networks as follows, “web 2.0 is influencing contemporary photo culture around the world by connecting international audiences to art experiences, enabling the discovery of new work and presenting never-before-seen channels of expression and communication.” Blogs, webzines and now social networks have made photography far more accessible than before. We are no longer dependent on museums, galleries and books for photographic content. This not only makes it cheaper and easier to get our hands on photographs, but we can now see far more images than are available through these ‘traditional’ forms. The web makes it just as easy to access photographs being made outside our front door as on the other side of the globe, as well as work that has yet to be exhibited or published and often never will.

What truly characterises web 2.0 however is participation: the opportunity for everyone to share information and to get involved in a conversation. Although I think the internet is at its best when it creates discussion and debate, the vast majority of online activity still centres around the dissemination of information. Even within a tiny universe such as the ‘fine art photography’ (for want of a better term) community, the accessibility of the web quickly leads to an overwhelming amount of photographic content. Blogs, online magazines and increasingly social networks act as filters, allowing people to more easily find the content that most interests them. Social networks have further refined this process, not only making it easier to find the kind of photography we want, but also providing a platform on which to have a conversation around photographs. These networks create spaces for discussion around specific topics or fields of interest that just aren’t possible on the infinite plain of the broader world wide web.

So what is the downside? Most of us would agree that better access and more conversation sounds like a pretty good thing. However, while these online developments have been leading to more conversation, I would argue that they have also been making it more shallow. Take the example of Facebook. While the platform does allow for discussion, the structure of the Facebook platform is such that we are constantly being asked to like things, whether it be through ‘Fan Pages’ or simply by choosing to ‘Like’ something that someone else has posted. While I don’t think a ‘Dislike’ button would add anything to the quality of the online conversation, it would at least remind us that our reactions to photography don’t all have to be situated on scale running from good to awesome.

Twitter is a slightly different beast. With its 140-character limit, the network is intrinsically suited to point towards existing information rather than to create new content. Even in the case where a conversation develops between several users (‘tweet chats’ in the local jargon), the medium is entirely focused on immediacy and not on considered opinion. By the time you have finished reading a tweet there are already several others that have appeared in your Twitter feed demanding your attention.

The reason this matters to photography is that it can lead to a situation where we are constantly consuming and never digesting. The danger with the infinite accessibility of the web is that we can find ourselves only looking at photographs that are immediately seductive or simply popular in the networks around us. Work that might be deemed quiet, challenging or even just off-putting can get totally bypassed. Moreover, if our interaction with photography is limited to a ‘Like’ button or the 140-character equivalent, we run the risk of never getting beyond the surface of images and of not developing an understanding of why we like or dislike something. Given the demise of arts criticism in traditional media, this kind of critical thought is arguably more important than ever.

Fortunately there are many online examples that buck the trend. Blogs like Pete Brook’s Prison Photography and Beierle + Keijser’s Mrs Deane are endless sources of hidden gems and considered discussion of current photographic trends. Perhaps the two most encouraging examples are Charlotte Cotton’s 2008 Words Without Pictures and more recently, Foam’s What’s Next?, both vital spaces which use the participatory nature of the net for considered thought and conversation on what is happening in photography today and where this might be leading.

Some might argue that an overly analytical discussion of photographs can get in the way of images. But without a critical discussion, what is going to lead photography to evolve and move forward?

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