In the latest of our exclusive features supporting our partnership with Art on a Postcard’s ‘Photography on a Postcard’ project for Photo London next week, After Nyne meet Photo London co-director Fariba Farshad.
Photo London was created to give London an international photography event befitting the city’ s status as a global cultural capital. Now in its third edition, Photo London has established itself as a world-class photography fair and as a catalyst for London’s dynamic photography community.
From the capital’s major museums, to its auction houses, galleries large and small, right into the burgeoning creative communities in the East End and South London, Photo London harnesses the city’s outstanding creative talent and brings together the world’s leading photographers, curators, exhibitors, dealers and the public to celebrate photography, the medium of our time.
Fariba, it’s great to see Photo London going from strength to strength. What do you feel is responsible for its success?
To begin with it was partly a matter of timing. We sensed that there was a gathering tide of excitement and enthusiasm for photography in London. In addition to that we believed that as one of the world’s great cultural capitals that London needed a strong international photography fair to rival those in New York and Paris. In both of those we were proved right. We had great partners from the outset particularly the FT, the LUMA Foundation and the Pictet Group and they have given us a very solid base on which to build. Coupled with that, and to our considerable delight, was the speed with which London’s museums, galleries, independent curators, collectors, critics and photographers have embraced Photo London. We hoped that after five or six years people would start referring to Photo London Week but, in fact, they started doing that last year ( our third).
What will Photography on a Postcard bring to Photo London?
I think Photography on a Postcard is a brilliant idea and will give the Fair’s audience an exciting and intriguing new perspective on photography. It will also demonstrate how socially engaged many of photographers are – the generosity they have shown in putting forward their work is a testament to that. This is the first time that we are working with a charity partner and it is great to be able to present photography in a way that has such a tangible social benefit
What do you feel Art on a Postcard are doing that’s different to other art/charity initiatives?
Involving artists in charitable activity isn’t by any means a new idea. What Art on a Postcard have done is to brilliantly rework the idea into something that makes sense for the artists and as a result they have been able to assemble a really strong group of contributors. I am delighted to say that that strength is also evident in the list of participating photographers.
How does photography maintain its worth in an era of camera phones and social media?
I would argue that the fact that everyone has a camera in their pocket and everyone can share their images on social media only serves to demonstrate that making great, memorable images is a difficult time consuming activity. Everyone can take a photograph, very few people can make art.
What can we expect from the 2018 edition of Photo London?
The 2018 edition is set to be the biggest ever and we look forward to showcasing the very best of the past, present and future of photography for our visitors to Somerset House next month. We will feature a strong line-up of exhibitors – many new faces and some such as Hans Kraus, James Hyman, Catherine Edelman, Nailya Alexander and Rose who are returning after a short break. Our fourth Master of Photography Edward Burtynsky, one of the great image makers of our times, leads a strong exhibition programme that includes exhibitions by Darren Almond and on the legacy of Fox Talbot (featuring rare original works by Talbot alongside those of contemporary masters such as Hiroshi Sugimoto, Adam Fuss, Vera Lutter amongst others) and on Japanese/Korean Photography in partnership with SUMM Projects, Korea.
Our installation programme continues with special installations by Daido Moriyama (commissioned by Hamiltons), by ICP (New York), and by the acclaimed set designer Es Devlin. Once again we look forward to a world class talks programme which includes Joel Meyerowitz, Bruce Gilden, Vera Lutter, An My Le, Thomas Struth and Terry O’Neill.