Brighton Biennial 2010


16/8/2010

http://www.bpb.org.uk/

I have decided to down to Brighton to see the exhibition that is being Curated by one of heroes Martin parr. I’m planning on going down after the first week induction to Uni. Sadly i will miss the start on the 2nd Oct. I’m hoping to see the work of Steven Gill, Alec South and Zoe Strauss. Hopefully there will be so much great stuff there i will be brimming full of ideas.

I’ve also noticed that both Alec soth and Zoe Strauss http://zoestrauss.blogspot.com/ and http://littlebrownmushroom.wordpress.com/

I will keep this running for my events leading up to it

20/9/10

A press release of Alec Soth‘s work with a twist http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/sep/19/alec-carmen-soth-brighton-biennial

Brilliant idea, I’m looking forward to seeing his work even more now. I guess that’s really thinking on your feet with such an unexpected issue to have deal with. I’m looking forward to Carmen Soth Next exhibition.

9/10/10

Well im using £5 for 60mins of tmobile on the virgin train. A strange experience being online will doing over 100mph. I’m really looking forward to the Brighton Biennial. Hopefully i will get to see some exhibits today. I was reading an interesting article with Martin Parr about the exhabition . Sean o’Hagan of The Guardian question whether Martin Parr will Be able to pull off the exhibition with his shoe string budget compared to the likes of the Arles Festival in France. In researching the event I have found that the Brighton fringe festival is also on. The must see for me in the is the retrospective of Brian Duffy’s work . This could be the highlight of the trip for me. He was third member of the 1960s british photographic icons along with David Bailey and Terrance Donavon. I have set twitter so my updates will hit my blog as well…

I got into Brighton late afternoon. I went to the old Co-op building on london rd. This was three floors of photographic bliss. To start off it was a excellent space. The theme of the presentation of the exhibition is pinning images and sticking them to the wall. this again relates to the cost issues i discussed earlier on. It still looks excellent. It’s a case of getting the work out without the worry presentation costs. For me it doesn’t cheapen it. There was a sweet smell of damp which for me just added to the occasion.

There was lots of the work on the first floor from 7 different artists. Susan Opton s work documented soldiers returning rom the tromer of war. She had very close up images of the solders in the base in new you. The work had a mother like feel as thought they was safe to be home. Under each picture was the time they had spent in conflict. A touching piece of work.

The work of Clive Frost was a very strong document of life and work in cuba. He had a book of the high street The malecon, Havana. A definite nod to ed Rusha’s work. However the funny story of the day was. My friend that im staying with Joanne went to cuba in 2007 and was the May-day Festival. The picture was documenting the parade. In the corner of the image was Joanne and her friends from R.M.T in the corner in the image. Shocked!!!!

SIMON ROBERTS!!!!!! direct skillful even masterful documentation of the british election of 2010. I would have gone home after seeing this a true pleasure. There was also a free 3000 newspaper print of the images of the election. the image that was the most powerful for me was of  Nick Griffen (of that party) stood alone like his archaic views. It was very powerful. I really look forward to the book coming out. The way the work was presented was very original. It was like a tram-line of two wires. It reminded me of a washing line it worked again so well. keeping with the cost affective theme. there was also a collection of the general publics images capturing various politician over the country. A top start to my time down here in Brighton…

10/10/10

Today just got better. The Brighton biennial is a must for all photography fans. The first exhibition we went to was Blairs Boy by Tom Wichelow the artist was in residence so we had a good talk with. He was a great guy challenging my views of his work. His work follows a boy who had come out of prison it was documenting him his views and lifestyle. I found the work very positive. It was put into context even more by the video interview. A well delivered excellent  of the subject matter. I got talking to tom and he mentioned that he had been confronted by a women. On the opening night accusing him of exploiting the young person. I really disagree with this point of view as it was all done with the young person consent. I also felt that some of the images where very positive. Tom asked me what i read into the work. I discussed a frosty window image showing the person outlook on life. Next to this was him and his girlfriend. I see this a positive and stability in his life. There was then two images next to each other. A closed down factory which would have suited the young person to work. Next to this was the young lad next passing what looked like a super drug type shop. his main option of work and totally unsuitable for a young person with his issues. The last image of the 5 in the row was the train line out of Brighton. For many the escape to London. hopefully he will get his worked published. It was brilliant insight into th challenges of youth.

We then went on to the-house-of-vernacular. this was an interesting collection of the strange. Vernacular means in your own Tongue. Your accent. The main work that I liked was a collection of bins erected in Brighton from 1959 to 1969 by the design Council. It felt very british in its own tongue. There was also a mock up fuselage in the style of 80s plane. The images showed the lavish private jets of the 70 and 80s. Again fitting with the brief of matching vernacular response.

Off over to the other side of the city to the lighthouse to see Queer Brighton by Zoe strauss and Molly Landreath. Landreath work showed outdoor portraits of LGBTQ at the Brighton&hove pride. A solid set of images with the subject in full profile. I found the mother and daughter the most touching of images. I saw this a challenging the stereotype around the subject. I was really up for seeing Zoe Strauss work. It was one the original things I travelled down to see. It was good in documenting the parade. however I question whether the people in some shot where being exploited. It looked like some image where took without the subject’s knowledge. Some people have issue with their sexuality and keep it under wraps. capturing them relaxed in the comfort zones amongst friends i see as wrong. A particular image of two girls who must have been worse for were slumps against a portaloo. Maybe it was just me. However off the back of Tom Wichlow’s experience I see this as the other end of the spectrum

Alec Soth and his daughter Carmen was a special occasion. i can see this going on to be a huge body of work. The young girl did so well getting into the zone and capturing what she seen as relevant. I liked the video of her dad asking to take a picture of the Brighton sunset. To which the 7 year-old replied Why do i want to take a picture of the sunset. I really liked the level that all the images were taken due to the young persons hight. Her tick-list of subjects was good to see. She refered to street photography as walk bys. Due to the people walking past her. This set of work was so special for me to see. It worked on every level.

Last of all I went to see degeneration By alex currie and Oliver Perrott They where capturing 1960s housing estate on the verge of being pulled down. Some lovely angles and no matter how run down the location they still had a warm feel. The had been to locations in liverpool london and Glasgow. I think it was on e the lesser presented body’s of work that I have seen. The image didn’t list the location underneath  and I feel this detracted for me.

12/10/10

Today we travelled to the cost to St Leonard on sea. To see the retrospective of the late Brian Duffys work. This was in the Lucy Bell Gallery. Duffys work for me stands on it own he was challenging the tags that often follow things connected to the 1960s. To see the David Bowie album cover from Alddin sane was a moment to saver! At the time it was the dearest album sleeve produced. Also the picture of Michel Caine strangely off guard in shoot with Duffy. I got speaking to Lucy the owner and curator for the gallery. I discussed with her my plan to put on a exhibition she was very keen to find out on what and where i was doing. She interested in my ideas. She agreed to answer some questions to help me in my project for university. I took a copy of her business card.

We went on to Del a Warr Pavillion, Bexhill On Sea. This was Myth Manners and Memories this featured the work of Walker Evans, Alec Soth, William Eggleston, William christenberry ,Susan Lipper and Carrie Mae Weems. I was unaware that most of the above was exhibiting. Alec Soth sleeping by the Mississippi was a special set of images. Touching on the inner madness of the southern states. The image most prominent was the White wrought iron bed stead in the reads on the banks of the river. I own lots of Eggleston books so i was well aware of his work. To see the full range of William Eggleston  dye transfer images was bordering on emotive. so powerful so simple. Walker Evans however is masterful with his body of works documenting. I always feel when you have been locked at by the eyes of Evans subject it almost effects from the inside/out. The transition of the different races in the south was harrowing yet Evans has a curtain sutlety with how he captured it…

Last of all we went to Eastbourne to see Robert mapplethorpe. This was a retrospective of a troubled creative genius. Showing all his work from the 70s up to his last few months of work in 1988 before his untimely death. HE was a wild man and seemed to capture this in many of his subjects. His images of naked black torso really pricked the imagination with tones on the glistening skin. His stand out image was the work with patti smith in the early 70s. His then wife. They worked really well together. The image from smiths album cover horses was probably the main image I knew from his work.

I have managed to get hold of a copy of one of Brian Duffy’s books with 7×7 print. Also a copy of the dvd of the recent tv program. This is a limited edition of 100. I really look forward to obtaining this. It will be white gloves job and take pride of place in my books case

A wonderful few days with several good contacts made. Some beautiful locations. Strangely or maybe not for me Hastings was my favourite place. The work of Carmen and Alec south was my favourite body of work. Along with Simon Roberts The Election subject. The hidden gem was between Tom Wichelow and Robert Mapplethorpes images. Having been to Paris photo many times. I would recommend any photography enthusiast to get them self to the next Brighton Biennial. It runs Paris very close. What it lacks in quality names it makes up in charm and verity.

Flyers from the trip

Susan Lipper body of work in the de la warr pavilion, bexhill on sea was good body of work. Almost capturing the stereotype we condescend from that area of the world. This is an interesting article http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/oct/13/susan-lipper-grapevine-series-south. The image that sticks out for me was the man with the disfigured eye holding a gun

Susan Lipper's Grapevine series

 

Author: alanwhitfield80

Hello! I get about a bit so here about me first. I am a visual artist and poet who works within the context of fine art. My work is grounded in documentary, exploring the inner beauty of everyday life through various lens based media. Notions of nostalgia and social commentary are present, but from a definite northern working class perspective. Instinctively I exploring the townscapes of North Wales and the North West, often producing work that reflects the every day minutiae of life.

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