LONDON.- In these troubled and uncertain times of upheaval and dissent on a global scale, a new generation of photographers and image-makers is emerging.
Steeped in the process of photography and versed in the psychology of the medium, they are exploring angst, neuroses, notions of fragility and identity, perception and the subjectivity of photography itself.
The photographers included in the exhibition come from a diverse range of backgrounds, from fashion and still life to complex conceptual work, their work defying simple categorization. Despite the diversity of their practice, shared interests emerge and the conventional boundaries of photography are challenged and played with. Clare Strands Exquisite Corpse re-imagines the fashion shoot as a macabre mediation on surrealism and mutilation. Influenced by the Nelson and Bayliss book on the Elizabeth Short murder of 1947, also known as the The Black Dahlia case, the project brings together two major inspirations for Strands, forensic/crime photography and Dada/Surrealism. Appropriation also plays a major role in Nicole Belles Rev Sanchez series which uses negatives found in a thrift store featuring adolescents posing in a park. On closer inspection, it becomes apparent the artist has doubled, tripled or quadrupled each young person in different poses creating enigmatic portraits.
In the work of Jessica Eaton and Fleur van Dodewaard, it is the properties of image making itself that are being explored and experimented with. The starting point for Jessica Eatons work is always an object, though the startling colours and geometric patterns created in camera have the effect of making the object disappear. Her work dissects the process of photography at a base level to explore an image created, rather than dictated by, technology. The work in the exhibition is taken from a recent series which pays homage to the 20th century masters Joseph Albers and Sol Le Witt and the abstract beauty of their work. Fleur van Dodewaard similarly references the imagemaking process itself rather than the objects she photographs. Like Eaton, she creates images which are concerned with material,shape and colour rather than any fixed reality, and instead question the nature of photography and perception.
Others are interested in exploring ideas of identity, body dysmorphia and alienation. Asger Carlsen creates disturbing images of the human body, digitally manipulated into grotesque abstract forms or adapted using low-tech apparatus. Sabrina Bongiovanni and Barrie Huellegie work with surprising compositions, placing awkwardly posed models in different spatial planes, the sense of the surreal heightened by the use of acid-drenched colours. Dru Donovan investigates the idea of the body as a site of self-representation. In her work, twin sisters add false eye-lashes and make-up to each other, while in other images body builders and dancers attempt to control and sculpt their form. Steven Brahams series The Survival Project imagines the ingenuity we would be forced to adopt in order to survive an unspecified apocalyptic occurrence, where chaos and improvised objects describe a dark future. Rachel Bee Porter, schooled in the precision of food photography, creates disturbing Pollock-like images of food hurled against 1950s style floral wallpaper hinting at some kind of major disturbance, or even crime scene.
Together these artists are exploring the world and the medium of photography in radical and experimental ways. What emerges is a twisted, sometimes apocalyptic vision of a world that has slipped on its axis revealing something dark, disquieting and not yet fully formed. Theres something happening here.