—Introduction

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

Peter Bobby - High Rise

+ - Peter Bobby:

High-rise

Tramshed

1 May – 27 May

The turn of the century brought a renewed interest and confidence in constructing high-rise developments in a large majority of the world’s major cities. It has become the corporate building type for an increasingly global industry and architecture. High-rise examines the sociopolitical, architectural and visual discourse surrounding these constructions using a combination of both interior and exterior still and moving imagery. Through a number of differing strategies, the work critiques these environments, questions their relationship to the city below, addresses ideas of representation and spectatorship, and explores the discourse surrounding notions of power within the contemporary urban landscape.

A Ffotogallery project in partnership with the Architecture Centre, Bristol and the Royal National Theatre, London. Supported by Arts Council England, eCPR (The European Centre for Photographic Research) and the University of Wales, Newport.

 

Image: High-rise (23rd, Bar), 2007 © Peter Bobby

Structures of Feeling

+ - Geoff Charles:

Structures of Feeling

Tramshed

1 May – 31 May

The Photographs of Geoff Charles

Curated by Peter Finnemore and Russell Roberts

Between the 1930s and 1980s, Geoff Charles was an established photojournalist whose contribution to a variety of Welsh newspapers and magazines was extensive. Throughout the North and the Borders he documented the fabric of daily life as well as the traditions and modernisation of Wales. Accidents, fashion, farming, Eisteddfodau, civic openings, industry, cars, travel, protest and war figure in what constitutes a dense visual encounter with place and history.

The exhibition draws on the collection of the National Library of Wales to create new frames of reference for Charles’ press photographs. Removed from their original context as half-tone illustrations and from the collection that usually defines them, these images with their shift in scale and presentation can still be very direct statements about the world but also mysterious fragments of it. Drawing on the work of Raymond Williams whose concept of ‘a structure of feeling’ was first used in 1954, the exhibition reinforces the power of photography to convey a similar definition of lived experience and the quality of life at a particular time and place. Consisting of large-scale prints along with projections and film, the exhibition also explores the importance of intervention within collections to ensure that they remain fluid and open to revision.

The exhibition is presented by Ffotogallery in association with the National Library of Wales.

 

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

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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

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Gideon Koppel Interview

B O R T H is a film installation by the artist Gideon Koppel. It was filmed in the wild west Wales town of Borth – a curious and extraordinary place where the infinite horizon of the sea collides with a bricolage of architectures; where epic landscape is playfully juxtaposed with the intimacy of human gesture.

Following on from Koppel’s feature-length film Sleep Furiously – one of the most critically acclaimed British films of 2009 – B O R T H travels along the blurred borders between documentary and fiction, to create a powerful dream-like and sensory world.

The exhibition is showing 1 – 31 May 2013 at Chapter Studio.

For more video content visit Remote Access.

cardiff encounters

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Cardiff Encounters

1 – 31 May / diffusionfestival.org

On your route through the City share your encounters of the Cardiff kind using #cardiffencounters on Instagram. Is it an encounter you have everyday or one you’ve never had before? Is it an encounter with the City’s inhabitants, landmarks, experiences, or something that only you have noticed? If you are new to Instagram, the app can be downloaded free on most mobile phones. If you like, add a caption to your photograph to tell us more about your encounter. Selected images tagged with #cardiffencounters will be posted on the Diffusion website.

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Platform 2 Visual Notes

We have commissioned artist Laura Sorvala to create visual documentation of our platform debates, which are a series of free evening events, each dedicated to one of the Platform themes and led by prominent artists and thinkers. Click Laura Sorvala Sketchnotes here to view a full screen PDF of Laura’s sketchnotes.

The second debate took place at Fire Island 15 May entitled “The artist is not responsible to anyone” and was led by Shaun Featherstone.

Visit Platform to find out about our upcoming events and to vote and comment on the provocations.

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

Holly Davey

+ - Holly Davey:

Nothing Is What It Is Because Everything Is What It Isn’t

National Museum Cardiff

9 March – 1 September

Nothing Is What It Is Because Everything Is What It Isn’t is a site-specific photographic installation exploring the stairwell and landing space in the Museum’s contemporary galleries. Holly Davey has photographed the space to create a digital collage in which the stairwell is reformed, repeated and replayed within the original architecture. This reimagining of the stairwell creates a feeling of disorientation, encouraging the viewer to question their experience and understanding of this functional, transitional space. Nothing Is What It Is… was commissioned by Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales following an open call for artist submissions in 2012.

The commission is supported by the Colwinston Charitable Trust.

 

Image: Nothing is what it is (detail), 2013 © Holly Davey

Maurizio Anzeri

+ - Maurizio Anzeri:

But it’s not late it’s only dark

Chapter

1 May – 30 June

 

Maurizio Anzeri’s first solo exhibition in Wales features newly commissioned and previously unseen works, alongside a selection of his critically acclaimed “photo-sculptural” pieces.

Anzeri uses found photographs and embroidery to create subtly sculptural pieces in which strangers are given new identities; complex and mysterious. Anzeri sees photographic portraits as landscapes, exploring them in order to layer them with his own maps or orientation to invent what he describes as “other possible evolutionary dimensions for the people pictured”. Labyrinths of forms and colours create intriguing geographies of faces, histories and souls with eyes that stare enigmatically from the centre of their ‘masks’. Alongside this established practice, Anzeri will show new works that utilise embroidery and personal photography to create imagined or psychological space; private reality that becomes public fantasy.

Anzeri’s interest in the sculptural form, the body and identity, gender and psychological boundaries also extends to a body of morphologic sculptural pieces that are made from synthetic hair. Taking inspiration from multiple sources – from Virginia Wolfe’s Mrs Dalloway to totemic cultures, 17th century Versailles and haute couture fashion – the installations involve the creation of a series of sculptures – each representing a different personality – that hover somewhere between theatre and fetish.

 

Image: Portrait Yellow, 2012. Embroidery on photo, 23.5 x 18cm. © Maurizio Anzeri

Photobook Symposium

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Photobook Symposium

Sunday 26 May 2013, 11am – 5pm 

Cinema 1, Chapter

BOOK NOW

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.