Posts Tagged ‘photography exhibition’

Review: Nick Waplington/ Alexander McQueen: Working Process @ Tate Britain

Images courtesy of Nick Waplington / Tate Britain

In ‘Working Process’ photographer Nick Waplington gives a rare look behind the scenes of Alexander McQueen’s last collection.

Selected from the previously published book project ‘Working Process’, Waplington’s photographs capture the creative journey of McQueen’s final Autumn/Winter collection ‘Horn of Plenty’ in 2009, one of the most celebrated fashion collections in recent history.

The major exhibition at Tate Britain reveals McQueen’s working practice through a selection of hundred large-scale prints completed by Waplington and McQueen three months before the designer’s suicide.

For over six months Waplington followed McQueen and his team from the designer’s studio in Clerkenwell to the final catwalk show in Paris, documenting every step of the creation of ‘The Horn of Plenty! (Everything But the Kitchen Sink)’, taking on recycling as a guiding theme.

McQueen conceived ‘The Horn of Plenty’ collection as an iconoclastic retrospective of his career in fashion, reusing silhouettes and fabrics from his earlier collections and creating a catwalk set out of broken mirrors.

‘Working Process’ reveals a raw and unpolished side of the fashion world. Waplington juxtaposes candid images of McQueen’s creative process with close-up shots of landfill sites and recycling plants, featuring beer bottles, plastic bags and piles of newspapers.

The exhibition, as the photobook, resulting from this unique artistic collaboration creates a powerful commentary on destruction and creative renewal – themes at the heart of the ‘Horn of Plenty’ collection.

Nick Waplington/ Alexander McQueen: Working Process at Tate Britain until 17 May 2015

Miriam is the Deputy Editor of LPD.

Marina Vitaglione introduces David Batchelor: Monochrome Archive @ The Whitechapel Gallery

Images courtesy of David Batchelor

“Monochrome is abstract art’s exemplary form, and you only find it in cities. You can’t find it in nature.”

It’s following this discovery that British artist David Batchelor set himself a challenge: taking a picture of every white square or rectangle he came across on his walks through various cities.

The result is no less than 500 images, taken from 1997 to 2012 around the globe, from London to Hong Kong via Berlin or Rome, all collected in this exhibition. The central white square is the only constant in this set of pictures, like a common denominator that the photographer’s eye keeps seeking everywhere he wanders.

The images keep interchanging on a multi-screen installation, while all the miniature prints are displayed on a lit table, with notes on when and where they were taken. The countless photographs appear to be a diary of Batchelor’s travels through the years, always looking for the abstract in the urban space.

At first, the white monochromes seem to give the exhibition cohesion and stability, but one soon realises that they are in fact ephemeral. As Batchelor himself points out, a white square is never going to stay white for long in a city: it will most likely get covered by ads, posters or writings. For this reason, the 500 pictures are unique: an abstract photography show not to be missed.

Whitechapel Gallery, 22 Dec 2014 – 3 May 2015

Marina Vitaglione 

MARINAMarina is a freelance journalist and culture writer based in London and an analogue photography enthusiast. She holds a Journalism degree from City University.​

Eva Stenram @ Siobhan Davies Studios reviewed by Helena Haimes

Images courtesy of Eva Stenram

To take in all of Swedish artist Eva Stenram’s works installed at Siobhan Davies Dance Studios, you have to take a pretty comprehensive tour of the seminal dance company’s extraordinary building. Its design fuses original elements of the original Victorian school — with its chipped tiles and bare brick — with the recently added elements of polished concrete, glass walls and taut cables.

The architecture is so immediately attention-grabbing that any practitioner who attempted to outshine it would fall horribly flat. Luckily, Stenram’s pieces — which are hung in corridors, balcony areas and even, yes, a disabled toilet compliment their surroundings without trying to compete with them. Acting as playful, absurd, and occasionally sinister commentaries on movement and the human form, they rise to the challenge of engaging with a potentially difficult, unconventional set-up.

This is the first time that Parts (2013 – ongoing) has been shown in the UK, and the exhibition showcases six pieces from the series. The artist has taken photographs of pin-up models from the 1960s, digitally erased everything but their legs, and printed the results onto fibre-based paper.

Stockinged and stilletoed, the single limbs are left leaning on a modernist sofa; loitering awkwardly on an enormous bed; or lying on a shag pile carpet in a Hitchcockian, wood-panelled room.

These images have more than an echo of the surrealist photographer Hans Bellmer, though they are marginally more humorous and certainly less perverse. Any eroticism that the originals 60s pin-ups may have contained is entirely diffused by the silly helplessness of a lone, racy leg still trying and failing to be seductive.

In Sternam’s world, a body part out of context becomes highly charged or just plain comical. In Arrangement (after Irving Klaw) (2015), installed outside one of the first floor rehearsal studios, three photographs are reframed by a passe-partout. You have to really peer in – peeping tom style – to see a flexed hand, beautifully-turned shin, or another one of those silly legs, this time clad in a clunky court shoe.

It feels like the artist is exposing the deep un-sexiness that can result from trying too hard to be sexy. In this way he highlights the fine line between looking sexually appealing and just, well, a bit pathetic.

Hold (2015) takes us on a destabilising tour of a single image using a series of slides shown on an archaic projector. In slow-mo, the work deliberately maps the process of looking at a pin-up photograph and so can be read as a meditation on the voyeuristic nature of looking. Score for A Sequence of Poses (2015) – a series of smaller photographs featuring more isolated, female limbs – makes a much heavier reference to choreographed movement. Described as ‘photographic scores’, they border on the filmic and the choice of an office-style, grey pinboard lends them a sense of a work in progress.

The pieces that operate most successfully here (works like the Parts series) utilise contemporary technologies to ask questions of historical material – just like the building that contains them.

Images courtesy of Siobhan Davis Dance.

Hel2015-02-03 17.55.32ena Haimes is a freelance arts and culture writer based in London. She studied at Goldsmiths College and the University of the West of England, and contributes to a range of publications as well as writing a visual arts blog.