“Moving the Image: Photography and its Actions” – April to June 2019
Camberwell Space, Camberwell College of the Arts
I visited this Exhibition on 8thMay with fellow student, Sarah-Jane Field, and OCA graduate, John Umney, Camberwell Space is the public gallery of the College which was built in 1898 and formerly known as Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts. Interesting that “Crafts” was dropped – perhaps that ‘Crafts’ are Arts too. It has a solid, imposing Victorian grandeur to it perhaps reflecting the membership of the Art movement in Camberwell that gave life to it.
Exhibitions at the Space are developed in response to the college curriculum, to provide an insight into, ”new ideas histories and future debates emerging in art, design and craft practices” and are accompanied by a publication and programme of events. The Curator of the Exhibition was Duncan Wooldridge, Camberwell BA Fine Art Photography Course Leader
and the curatorial statement was complex and multi-faceted. For me it was best summed-up by its proposal of, (…..a photography beyond the romantic language of the photographer’s eye, or the doubtful neutrality of the document. In its place, photography emerges a complex contradictory and challenging object, acting with us and upon us” see here for full statement and list of artists . The works exhibited were by contemporary artists experimenting with, “..the photograph’s forms and manifestations”.
The ground floor Exhibition space seemed large and airy as I walked in but it also struck me as being quite sparse and minimal in its layout, as if not much was on show and, to be truthful, this was the major reinforcement of learning for me on how much an Exhibition layout has an effect on the viewer. I quickly realised that the effect was due to the fact that there were no captions or descriptions alongside the works, nothing to distract me from just ‘gazing’ and spending time attempting to work out the meaning of what I was seeing. There was actually a printed brochure and printed Exhibition layout schemes available, but they were placed away from the entrance. Even then I spent quite a while turning the layout page around and around to work out where I was in the room according to the layout!
Highlights for me were:-
Kensuke Koike’s ‘travel sculptures’
An interesting way to present the old photographs he finds at flea markets bringing them to life, cutting, rearranging and turning the pieces into optical illusions, notwithstanding the fact that they could be new photographs. It’s just occurred to me that maybe he could have placed what was absent somewhere else and invited the viewer to guess their frame. There’s much more of his playful work here and here
Clare Strand – “Research in Motion (2014)
One of the series of three wooden and glass cabinets that contain a rotating spike of research material from her archive – a clever moving pun that reminded me of a rolodex drumResearch in Motion (A) from clare strand on Vimeo.
This is not the first time that Strand has utilised her research material as a physical pun. Her sculpture “The Happenstance Generator” (2015) was a large, Perspex dome on a metal plinth enclosing a selection of her research material over 30 years which was blown about by hidden fans – creating random ‘collections’. Hidden fans blew the images around, creating random ‘collections’ that mirrored the way in which visual encounters ebb, flow, assume significance and disappear.
I find Strand’s work so engaging and varied, using found images and machines etc to create her own take on conceptualism in a way which amuses yet makes its point.
Dafna Talmour, “Constructed Landscapes”
Collaging medium format negatives in a way that creates a new landscape formed from the real and the imaginary and alluding to idealised and utopian spaces. “With these new landscapes I’m also playing with the standard format of the photographic negative, stretching it, making it more elongated and vertical or panoramic, because I have the freedom of building it in whatever way I want”.
Anonymous silk print
There was a student exhibition in another room where this caught my attention straight away
I think it’s beautiful with its rich, flowing colours and what a shame there’s no name attached. Seeing this really encouraged me to experiment with a silk print of one of my Silent Pool images for Assignment 3.