Camera-less exhibition at the V and A

Gelatin silver print photogram of a Victorian christening dress-Adam Fuss (from his GHOST series)



I visited the new Photography exhibition at the V and A yesterday, and was overwhealmed with the varity of images on display.

I dont often visit the V and A, but found this exhbition suited the buildings architecture very well.
Unfamiliar with all of the artists work, apart from Adam Fuss, who i have admired for many years now. Although the exhibition was smaller that i had first though, i was no means dissapointed with the collection. I was supprised at how different all the artists work, and how far ‘photography’ can be pushed.
Most of the work did not look anything like tradional photography. Taking away the camera, allows the artist to be much more involved in the process, ‘stepping into the camera’ and much more hands on. through different techniques and processes each artist had their own take on creating their own very unique images.

I found Garry Fabian Miller’s work mesmerising. Set in darkly lit room his series of images seemed to glow and light up the space, without any actual back lighting whatsoever. Long exposures of sunlight through church windows, created a stunning minimal piece almost conceptual and allowing the viewer to appreciate the stark corrilation between negative and possative.
Susan Derges work mostly involved natural landscapes and very much involed in the process and developing of her images. Using the river at night, and flashes of bright light to expose an image of the surroundings.
Florius Neususs, using figures in his series was a good insight into this crossover technique into painting from photography. The figures were overlaped and silouetted onto the paper, with positions to create movment on the page. The piece on the gallery floor of a ‘shadow’ of a woman under a chair furthermore pushed this into instilation. Photography is a medium capturing moments intime, this piece presenting what was there, but no longer is. Susan Derges talks about photography being very closely linked to death, in one of the films showen as part of the exhibition, as well as online (found on the v and a website). Unlike painting an image is taken true to what is there a split second in time, lost forever.
Pierre Cordiers technique intreaged me he uses german syrup to paint onto the photographic paper and then uses developer to disolve this creating lines and shapes like a painter would use paint. I guess this exhibition has made me realise how the two specialisms -painting and photography, are connected, one paints with paint the other paints with light.

Having wanted to learn more about old techniques for a while now, this inspring exhbition as cememented my passion for photography and needeing to learn how to create such experiemental images.

I urge anyone interested in photography, or art to go and see this show.

The V and A offers a series of workshops and talks to follow this exhibition :



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