An in-depth exploration of the medium of photography, Photo London 2023
brings together over 110 exhibitors from 55 cities worldwide from 10th 14th May, showcasing artworks with themes ranging from the socio-political to the cinematic; the constructed to the hyper-real.
Fair Founders Michael Benson and Fariba Farshad comment: The last edition of Photo London was by all measures one of the most successful editions of the Fair to date. Photo London 2023 builds on that success with another strong line-up of new and returning galleries. It is wonderful to once again be able to welcome galleries from China, Peru, Japan and Australia, and were thrilled that even from Iran artists and galleries have found ways to participate. From documentary images that bear witness to our rapidly changing era, through to works that push the boundaries of photography, these are exciting times for photography in all its forms and we are delighted that our various partners have joined with us in a celebration of the medium.
This year the Fair presents several galleries supporting photographers from Iran: LS10 Gallery (London) presents a focus on Iranian contemporary photography; Roya Khadjavi Projects /Nemazee Fine Art (New York) brings together the works of ﬁve Iranian photographers Tahmineh Monzavi, Ali Tahayor, Dariush Nehdaran, Maryam Palizgir and Mo Jahangir whose practice is based on a documentary engagement intertwining socially conscious and environmental works from urban communities to the rural landscape; while O Gallery (Tehran) is presenting works by the contemporary photographer Mohammedreza Mirzaei alongside rare prints by Kaveh Kazemi, whose photographs of the 1979 revolution and its aftermath represent one of the most important archives of this period.
The growing signiﬁcance of photography in Africa is highlighted by presentations throughout the Fair, including: 193 Gallery (Paris/Venice) displaying masked portraiture by Leon Nyaba Ouedraogo, whose images range from psychological portraiture to cultural display; Ed Cross (London) presenting Mário Macilaus series Faith, a long-running project documenting the spiritual lives and rituals of communities in rural Mozambique and the landscapes surrounding them; and Bonne Espérance Gallery (Paris) who present a solo show spanning the entire career of Jürgen Schadeberg (1931 2020), who is often referred to as the Godfather of South African photography.
Photographys power as a social and political tool is further celebrated in the presentation at ATLAS Gallery (London) focusing on the British history of civil rights and anti-racist movements, featuring works by Jamaican-British photographers Charlie Phillips, Armet Francis and Vanley Burke; while at Albumen Gallery (London) gender identity and LGTBQIA+ rights are explored by photographers spanning four decades and different global geographies.
Catherine Edelman Gallery (Chicago) will display the complex cultural propositions by Syrian refugee Omar Imam, works by Lea Lund & Erik K whose photographs tackle colonialism through the eyes of Erik, born in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) and Michael Koerner, whose chemically manipulated images convey the ongoing fallout of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki which has claimed the lives of ﬁve of his family members to cancer. VirginiaVisualArts (London) meanwhile devotes its booth to a solo presentation of the American artist Bootsy Holler, whose "Contaminated" series tells the story of her birthplace, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a large U.S. nuclear site established during World War II for the production of plutonium, some of which was used in the ﬁrst atomic bomb.
Showing for the ﬁrst time at Photo London, Patricia Conde Galería (Mexico City) explores Mexicos Neo-documentary movement with works by Yael Martínez, Alejandro Cartagena, Graciela Iturbide, Flor Garduño, Adam Wiseman, Cannon Bernáldez, Patricia Lagarde and Laura Cohen examining the countrys social, political and environmental issues. In contrast, the Belmond-commissioned exhibition Fotograﬁa Maroma, co-curated by Conde and Photo London Co-founder Fariba Farshad, presents the unique responses by four Mexican photographers Patricia Lagarde, Ilán Rabchinskey, Javier Hinojosa and Margot Kalach to the magical Rivera Maya on Mexicos northeastern Yucatán Peninsula.
In the Discovery section, ﬁrst-time exhibitor Gaotai Gallery (Urumqi) presents Hailun Ma's series 'Hometown' in which the Chinese artist approaches Xinjiang, its people and local culture from the perspective of street-level fashion to allow a nuanced understanding of where she grew up; New Dimension (London) dedicates its booth to a solo show by the British photographer Sam Wright capturing the atmosphere of everyday life in Naples; and Homecoming (Haarlem) presents works by exceptional emerging photographers from diverse locations who share an upbeat form of societal commentary Fenna Schilling from Amsterdam, Eddie Wrey from London, Pia Riverola from Barcelona / Mexico City and Derrick Ofosu Boateng from Accra.
Themes of landscape and the environment feature strongly across the Fair. Roland Belgrave (Brighton) presents a solo show by artist Mandy Barker, whose work involving marine plastic debris for more than 12 years has received global recognition. ARTCO Gallery (Berlin) brings a solo presentation of the world-renowned photographer, artist and activist Gideon Mendel, whose socially engaged practice amounts to a profound act of witnessing the human experience and physical impacts of the climate emergency. With renowned event photographers capturing the essence of the event, attendees can expect stunning visuals that bring the photography exhibition to life.
Persons Projects (Berlin) are showing a selection of artists from the Helsinki school whose varied perspectives on how to depict nature and landscape reveal photography's potential as a conceptual tool for thinking. Crane Kalman Brighton and Eleven Fine Art (Twickenham) are teaming up to showcase the works of three female photographers whose approaches to landscape photography varies from real, to imagined and fantastical; while at Alessia Paladini (Milan) the group presentation On Landscape will feature works by ﬁve women photographers from across the world whose works are connected through the red threads of memory, recollection of the past, change and resilience. The relationship between landscape and memory is also a feature of Los Angeles-based artist Jessie Chaney's evocative images of abandoned civilisation from her series Memories of a Space on show at FabriK Media (Los Angeles); while Bildehalle (Zürich) mounts a group show on the topic of memory and remembering in photography.
A number of exhibits focus on photographys intersection with other art forms. The cinematic is explored in Carlos and Jason Sanchezs meticulously staged, suspenseful images which deploy custom-built sets and eerie lighting to create ﬁctional scenes, on view at ﬁrst-time exhibitor Christopher Cutts Gallery (Toronto). At Willas Contemporary (Oslo), Jeff Cowens distinctive three-dimensional style combines analogue photography with chemical procedures and mark-making, mating the powers of painting and photography to mount an investigation into the nature of being. Galleri K (Oslo) will show large-scale photography on the theme of Nature and technology by Thomas Struth, Mikkel McAlinden and Thomas Demand, known for his illusionistic photographs of three-dimensional models sculpted entirely from paper. Models feature also in Lena Amuat & Zöe Meyers enigmatic series 'Artefakte & Modelle' at Galerie Robert Morat (Berlin) meticulously staged portraits of objects embodying the human struggle for knowledge.
Several galleries celebrate photographys relationship with the worlds of music, fashion and celebrity. Ira Stehmann (Münich) is showing works by the crème de la crème of fashion photographers such as Peter Lindbergh and the rarely exhibited Steven Meisel. 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS (Milan) is showing fashion photography by Gian Paolo Barbieri, Rankin, and Mario Testino. Camera Work (Berlin) presents images of supermodels by Patrick Demarchelier and Herb Ritts alongside Albert Watsons portrait of Mike Tyson; while Iconic Images (London) includes Terry ONeills photographs The Beatles Take Flight and Elton John in the Starship.
The Fair will also feature two site-speciﬁc installations. At Camilla Grimaldi Art (Florence/Rome) the collective Sbagliato will create an installation alongside prints of their photographs on aluminium; while TJ Boulting (London) and Maisie Cousins will present an installation comprising of a sculpture surrounded by prints from the artists new body of work exploring her formative childhood holidays and in particular her obsession with Blobbyland, the theme park near her home in Somerset.
Among the galleries showing vintage photography are Blue Lotus (Hong Kong), presenting rare prints by the legendary Chinese street photographer Fan Ho (1931 2016); Zen Foto Gallery (Tokyo), showing vintage prints from the street photography series Flash Up by Seiji Kurata (19452020); and Ostlicht Gallery for Photography (Vienna) presenting works by two prominent Viennese Activists, Günter Brus and Rudolf Schwarzkogler, together with works by the Italian artist Francesca Catastini in a dialogue that bridges time and culture.
Galerie Sophie Scheidecker (Paris) presents a show about surreal photography with works by Man Ray, Erwin Blumenfeld, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Kati Horna and Nan Goldin. Open Doors (New York), meanwhile, reveals surrealisms contemporary relevance with the group show The Eye of the Beholder, displaying new pieces by early and mid-career artists such as Joe Webb, Connie Stewart, Max Miechowski and Laura Pannack that uncannily mix collage and photographic appropriation.
The possibilities and impacts of new technologies are investigated in works pushing the boundaries of photography. In the Main section of the Fair, Artemis Gallery (Lisbon) presents Evelyn Bencicova's Artiﬁcial Tears series and kennedy+swan's stereoscopic ﬁlm Delphi Demons to expose AI technologies' ﬂaws and fragilities, reﬂecting on our strange reality and the future of global change. The Empty Circle (New York), meanwhile, mounts a solo show of the late photographer and ﬁlmmaker, Adolfo Doring (1962 2016) whose series "Posted" explores collective curation using the algorithms of social media in diptychs that juxtapose one of the oldest formats of the medium, the daguerreotype, with likes and comments curated by friends, family and fans.
In the Discovery Section, Litvak Contemporary (Tel-Aviv) presents Nature Tales by Itamar Freed and Kristina Chan, which features photographs of sites the artists have visited combined with images from curated environments to search for vanishing notions of realness in the natural world. Fiumano Clase (London) shows works by Sam Burford, who uses handmade cameras, 3D printing and bespoke machine learning methods to probe the ways that technology generates new aesthetic forms. While the Digital Creative Agency Diorama uses the concept of Hyper-realism, beginning with something that does not exist and then realising its perception as though an actual object to blur the distinctions between what is real and perceived.
Photo Londons programme of pavilion installations returns this year with the ﬁrst UK showing of I MATTER, an outdoor photographic exhibition presented by CASE Art Fund, a nonproﬁt based in Illinois whose mission is to raise awareness about children's human rights through the support and exhibition of photography. Wrapping around the pavilion will be images of children from around the world holding signs stating I MATTER in their native language. Photographed by parents, guardians, classmates and photographers from around the world, the on-going project reminds us that all children matter, regardless of race, class, sexual orientation, legal status, or religion.
Photo Londons long standing support for emerging artists continues this year with the third edition of the Photo London x Nikon Emerging Photographer of the Year Award which spotlights the most exciting young photographers showing at the Fair with the winner announced on the Preview Day. Last years winner, Max Miechowski, together with fellow shortlisted artists, will be presented in the Nikon space.
Support for young talent is extended this year with the creation of the Photo London x Hahnemühle Student Award instigated to support students enrolled in photography degrees at UK universities, with a valuable residency awarded to each years winner.
Lastly, the important role of the publishing and the photo book in the photography ecosystem is illustrated through the continuing expansion of the Fairs publishing section where Osmos, Aperture, Thames & Hudson and Dewi Lewis Publishing are joined by an exciting range of newcomers and returning exhibitors including Stanley Barker, Atelier EXB and Setanta Books.