—Introduction

A month long festival of exhibitions, discussions, screenings, performances, events and celebrations in both physical and virtual spaces and places.

Photobook Symposium

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Photobook Symposium

Sunday 26 May 2013, 11am – 5pm 

Cinema 1, Chapter

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This event will open up creative dialogue and enquiry into documentary and art photography publishing today, with a lively programme of presentations and panel discussions. Bringing together photographers, publishers and other industry specialists, debate will centre around shifts in publishing as practice; the mechanisms of production and distribution; legacies, contexts and considering exhibitions of photobooks. Ken Grant will also be back by popular demand presenting new 5 minute Book Reviews.

Ticket price includes tea and coffee and a packed lunch.

Speakers: Ken Grant (University of South Wales), Harry Hardie (HERE Press), Gordon MacDonald (GOST Books), Christiane Monarchi (Chair), Rodrigo Orrantia (Lucid-ly), Emmanuelle Waeckerle (the bookRoom), Thijs groot Wassink (Wassink/Lundgren) and more TBA.

g39 - Barnraising and Bunkers

+ - Various Artists:

Barnraising and Bunkers

g39

8 May – 29 June

Uriel Orlow, Abigail Reynolds, Angharad P Jones, Rich White, Dan Griffiths, Geraint Evans, Jonathan Powell, Richard Powell

The built environment, despite the desires of architects and planners, grows organically from the people that inhabit it. It is an ongoing dialogue and not fixed. The urban and the rural are often set up as polar opposites, the former synonymous with presence and the latter with absence. Asking the question ‘Where are we now?’, the exhibition looks at the human drive for shelter, and how we choose to build. Whereas Barnraising epitomises collective action and co-operation, bunkers suggest the opposite. Bunkers are shelters built for survival, excavated as opposed to built; they isolate and separate the individual from the world.

Barnraising and Bunkers puts together artists that engage or interact with architectural or physical structures, as well as those that work collectively to accomplish things greater than the abilities of the group. It is also a wider examination of those spaces that are flagship structures for art and contrasts them with the often isolated and separate means of their production, the studio.

 

Image: g39 – Barnraising and Bunkers

Brødrene

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Alexander Norton on Elin Höyland’s ‘The Brothers’

Sat in each others pockets

The closeness of family can create bonds beyond a form of relationship, friendship and love; it can never break although it might bend. That connection can be tested, crumpled, but always goes back to its original shape. Elin Höyland’s The Brothers shows precisely this closeness between family, and between the most interwoven of them all, the relation of siblings. They never detract too far from each other, never leaving a complete eye line from each other – their faces bearing the same eyes, ears and hairline, wearing the same jumpers, doing similar things. They are remote from any other individuals, spending time in each other’s pockets. Their every action carries a trace of resemblance, a sense of mimicking actions, but with the same conscious thought. People in sync, thinking the same, but details change from each person. As people they may do the same things, they may look and act the same, but small details vary, the way one may stand, wear a coat or jumper, may look at things and may place things.

They are close beyond what close can comprehend, their relationship gentle, subtle, quiet. Their very existence seems to rely on the other; no breath is caught without the other. Their spaces intimate, duplicated with a mirroring that suggests a whole hearted caring. They swap positions from left to right, right to left, walking around the same backyard for what feels like decades, but they do not age, although their bodies are worn. We are left with the underlying fact that we all die, and will leave our close ones momentarily. As we are shown the stark reality of two individuals reliant on each other, comprehending how one will live without the other. There is one pair of binoculars on the right, accompanied by a man, not a brother anymore. Although their beautiful relation lives on, the physical manifestation of their contact appears at the end of its journey, leaving an ultimatum for the individual left. Left staring at the bed of another he shared his life with. The space they share becomes empty, as life catches up with them, leaving their room empty.

After the initial parting, the other falls with grace, feeling a gentle sensation of acceptance, they will sit in each other’s pockets once again.

By Alexander Norton

Elin Höyland ‘The Brothers’
1-25 May 2013
Norwegian Chruch Arts Centre

This essay is available as a downloadable PDF here.

Platform

+ - “There is nothing left to photograph”:

Platform 4

“There is nothing left to photograph”

Wednesday 29 May, 6.30pm

Fire Island, 25 Westgate Street, Cardiff CF10 1DD

Free

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A series of free evening events will be held in the city, each dedicated to one of the Platform themes and led by prominent artists and thinkers. There will be space for discussion and reflection in an informal setting.

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Kirsty Mackay’s Pop Up Studio Portraits

Sat 4 & Sun 5 May
The Cardiff Story, The Hayes

Sat 11 & Sun 12 May
Milkwood Gallery, Roath

The Pop Up Portrait Studio is a mobile, outdoor photography studio, offering everyone a free portrait session. The studio popped up alongside the Diffusion venues in Cardiff and you can see all 110 portraits that Kirsty has taken above. Participants can also pick up their free print at Cardiff Story where the work is being displayed as a temporary exhibition.

“It is much more than a photo booth. I photograph everyone that comes along. I love being surprised when someone that I might not have thought of photographing, stands in front of my camera, and all of a sudden I see something in them. If I can then capture that – I can make a good portrait.”

kirstymackay.wordpress.com

650pxGeoff-Charles,-Ellesmere-Carnival,-4th-September,-1955.-Courtesy-of-National-Library-of-Wales

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Stuart Anderson on Structures of Feeling | The Photographs of Geoff Charles

Between the 1930s and 1980s, Geoff Charles was an established photojournalist who contributed extensively to a variety of Welsh newspapers and magazines. Throughout the North and the Borders he documented the fabric of daily life as well as the traditions and modernisation of Wales. Stuart Anderson reflects on a selection of images from the National Library of Wales’ collection, curated by Peter Finnemore and Russell Roberts.

The photograph, as a medium of representation, is intrinsically linked to time. Not only in the application of exposures, frames per second or the other physical elements of the medium, but as a chronology. It is the most effective tool in our society for providing cultural continuity and historical recording within a visual medium. But the rigid immovability of the photograph as a document of what has been remains a double edge sword. The image is stationary and unchanging, all the while we, as individuals and communities move ever further away from the time in which they were made. Other less important or prominent images are destroyed, lost, or fade away. Gradually the people and places represented in the images become less and less familiar to those viewing them. Eventually, when enough time has past, we see nothing in them. Only anonymous faces and locations, all of which lack the appropriate context in which they were originally viewed. They become artefacts, and like archaeologists, it is our job to rediscover their once treasured importance. A selection of the work of Geoff Charles, re-presented in this new exhibition, highlights the need for us to continually return to images of the past. Not only to preserve them for the history of our society, but also to remind us of the shared experience of what it was to be a person in these fabled places and at these elusive times.

The way in which these ideas have been applied in this exhibition, curated by Peter Finnemore and Russell Roberts, is to remove the photographs from their natural chronological order and to reassemble them into groups. The groupings are made on a typological basis or upon similar events within the image. Each group is then given their own coloured wall to which they can exist separately without influence or reference to each other. By doing this, Finnemore and Roberts have allowed the images to take on a sense of personal experience, allowing them to be examined on a far more emotive level than the clinical nature of the historical archive would normally allow. We are presented with scenes of amateur dramatics and charity functions, cross dressing and druidic rituals, models of future development and museum pieces.

While in their reassessment of the work of Charles, the two curators have managed to pull a particularly interesting trick upon the viewer. We do not necessarily have direct knowledge of the people and places in these photographs, but by presenting them in this evocative and almost nostalgic manner, it has shown a near repetition of history. We see the beginnings of a consumer culture in the 1950’s and 1960’s, a culture in which today we see another, almost inevitable expansion. We see images of people planning new developments in the quest for modernisation, but many of the developments pictured are now ironically in line to be redeveloped and modernised for this century, revealing a pleasing cyclical nature to our culture, or perhaps their initial shortcomings. We are also shown a film regarding the flooding of the Tryweryn valley to provide a reservoir for the city of Liverpool, a symbol for other massive changes inflicted upon Wales by others. Changes that, perhaps in a more subtle way are still occurring.

The one thing that the new exhibition of these images have taught us, is that the recognition of a situation or of an emotional attachment is usually a far more powerful than the simple representation of what was before the camera at that time. We then no longer see anonymous individuals or groups. We see ourselves.

 

Stuart Anderson

 

Structures of Feeling: The Photographs of Geoff Charles
1 – 31 May 2013
Tramshed

 

This essay is available as a downloadable PDF here.

Photo Copyright: Geoff Charles, Ellesmere Carnival, 4th September 1955. Courtesy of National Library of Wales

Edgar Martins - The Time Machine

+ - Edgar Martins:

The Time Machine

Ffotogallery

1 May – 7 June

In 2010 and 2011, Martins gained exclusive access to 20 power plants located across Portugal. Many were built between the 1950s and 1970s, a time of hopeful prospects for rapid economic growth and social change. The Time Machine records objects and spaces whose grand and progressive designs testify to the scope and ambition of the vision they were built to serve.

Martins’ photographs recall science-fiction and in an unavoidable field of nostalgia, characterise a suspended time; that of the modern. In recovering a past of exciting technological innovation and optimistic belief in the future, The Time Machine speaks not just about the generation of power but also of dreams and technological utopias.

This exhibition was funded by Fundação EDP and the international tour is supported by The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK branch) & Instituto Camões (Portugal).

 

 

Image: Fratel power station: machine hall, 2012 © Edgar Martins

Dawn Wooley - Wild Oats

+ - Various Artists:

Wild Oats

Milkwood Gallery

4 May – 18 May

Miina Hujala, Noemi McComber, Ellen Sampson, Dawn Woolley

Wild Oats brings together a group of artists who use food and the rituals of eating to comment on contemporary life, gender and commodity culture. Miina Hujala’s film Illallinen (The Dinner) explores the complex identification and idealisation processes that take place during courtship. In Prise d’assault (Under Assault) Noemi McComber addresses issues of overconsumption, and the handling of waste while depicting unrestrained violence in a performance of “soft stoning by way of food.” Dawn Woolley’s still life photographs and sculptures contemplate the gender distinctions upheld through commodity culture and the rituals of food consumption. Ellen Sampson and Dawn Woolley will collaborate to create a variety of small, edible sculptures which will be served to the public during the exhibition opening. Based on ideas of romance and desire the objects will offer a surreal take on everyday entrees.

Exhibition supported by Arts Council of Wales.

 

Image: Celebrate, C-type print, 2012 © Dawn Woolley

Wait-and-See,-2012-©-f&d-cartier2

+ - f&d cartier:

Wait and See

Oriel Canfas

1 May – 31 May

Wait and See places black and white photosensitive paper and light – two fundamentals of photography – at the centre of its process. Early photographic paper is exposed in the exhibition rooms and through a subtle interplay with space and light, the chromatic transformation of the paper begins. According to its composition and the nature of its contact with light, the paper develops random colour patterns over time. To perceive the progressive saturation of the paper, the spectator is asked to be patient and to remain still for a few moments in order to observe a latent process, the meaning of which derives from the very act of being seen.

A Ffotogallery project funded by Pro Helvetia (Swiss Arts Council), Swiss Cultural Fund in Britain and Swisslos Culture Canton de Berne.

 

Image: Wait and See, 2012 © f&d cartier

Zineathon

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Zine-a-thon

Saturday 25 May / 11am – 1pm or 2 – 4pm / Free (ages 12+)

Chapter, Free

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Join artist and DIY record label founder Mark Thomas and learn how to make your own photocopied zine. Zines (short for “fanzines” or “magazines”) are self-published paper booklets of words and images. Tracing the history of zines from their roots in the underground music scene to the present day, we will explore how zines can be a fun and creative means of expression. Please bring any photographs or images you would like to include in your zine.