Of all the radioactive elements discovered at the end of the 19th century, it was radium that became the focus of both public fascination and entrepreneurial zeal
When decay, ruin porn and gentrification emerge in place of glorification and remembrance
Paul Lowe managed to cram into one book some 200 years of history, technology, art, society without ever making it look laborious nor indigestible
The history of energy is neither linear nor Darwinian. It is full of forgotten fantastic innovations…
Campeau is fascinated by the history of photography and in particular the disappearance of analog tools and practices. Each of the works exhibited explores a material culture that used to suggest magic and craftmanship: the messy darkrooms with duct tape to fend off the light and wooden pegs to hang the images to dry; the colourful rolls of photo film and the iconic camera models; the amateur developer who gave way to the computer pixel specialist, etc.
In 1982, the French public telecommunications company launched a revolutionary system combining the telephone and information technology. It was a beige, plastic box and it was called the Minitel. In 2013, members of the Graffiti Research Lab France decided to explore the sonic and visual possibilities of the defunct technology
Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line covers 100 years of maps, reminding us of all the traumas, cultural revolutions, social mutations and technological advances the world has gone through over the course of the 20th century. It’s been a fierce time and mapping technology has echoed and sometimes even shaped every moment of it.
One post about two important stories: a series of excellent webinars dedicated to art&activism and a few words about the origins of Unthanksgiving Day!
Since 2007, American photographer Jade Doskow has been documenting the remains of World’s Fair sites, once iconic global attractions that have often been repurposed for less noble aspirations or neglected and fallen into decay
The only photography venue in the UK exclusively devoted to documentary, Side Gallery, is about to re-open with […]
In spite of the loss of a large part of its collection, the museum remains a wonderful place to visit. For the historical specimens of course but also for a number of artefacts that are interesting from an artistic point of view
The People’s History Museum in Manchester has recently opened a photo exhibition that explores how industrial workers went from objects in photos, to heroic representations of industry and finally to photographers themselves
Zofia Rydet was 67 years old when she set herself the herculean task of photographing the inside of every single house in Poland. From 1978 until her death in 1997, she would frantically travel by bus or foot over the country, have people sit in their interior, straight in front of her, and shoot them using a wide-angle lens and flash
Over the past 45 years, the members of the collective have been documenting the industrial communities living along the river Tyne, the fishermen, the shipbuilders, the people working in the coal and steel industry, but also their families, the unemployed and the marginalized communities. The result is a vast archive of photos and films that present both both artistic and historical value
From the 1940s to the 1970s, visionary artists from across the Americas reimagined themes from science fiction and space travel. They mapped extraterrestrial terrain, created dystopian scenarios amid fears of nuclear annihilation, and ingeniously deployed scientific and technological subjects and motifs
Photography Visionaries is an inspiring guide to 75 of the most influential photographers from around 1900 to the present. Entertainingly written by an expert on photography, it provides fascinating insight into the lives and careers of men and women working in a medium which perhaps more than any other in the visual arts has been deeply affected by technological change
After The Flash: Photography from the Atomic Archive explores the intertwined histories of photography and nuclear technologies, and the camera’s role in constructing the public image of atomic energy and ‘the bomb’. The exhibition contrasts the ‘technological sublime’ that dominates much nuclear-themed photography-from mushroom clouds to cooling towers-with representations of personal encounters and experiences, tracing the hazy lines between spectacle and humanitarian documentation
Enter a tumultuous era with this unparalleled collection of photographs made by a group of photographers working for the Rome-based agency Team Editorial Services.
The press photographers constantly shifted between battling film stars at play and the reality of near civil war unfolding on the streets. Politics and celebrity are brought together through the paparazzi style of alto contrasto, collusion and intrusion. Alluded to, although less visible, are the murkier dealings of clandestine groups linked to the Italian Secret Services, The P2 Masonic Lodge the CIA and NATO, operating against the backdrop of the extremes of the Red and Black Brigades
The jars are filled with all kinds of deformed and diseased body parts: a gout-swollen hand, an inguinal hernia from around 1750, the bound foot of a Chinese woman, the skeletons of conjoined twins, a liver dented by years of wearing tight corsets, a brain perforated with an ice pick during a frontal lobotomy, a rat that died of tuberculosis, a cabinet of surprisingly voluminous objects that people inserted into their bodies (more about that one in the video below), etc
All that is documented here is true, but seems to be from a work of bad fiction. We find stories of contaminated ministers, bombs lost and never found, the invention of the bikini, the power struggles between colonial powers and local populations, vaporized chickens, etc.
The main theoretical question underpinning the project is: “Can photography be the site where the history of an exhibition is produced and still retain its independent artistic autonomy, thus overcoming pure documentation?”
The Wind Tunnel project filled with site-specific commissions two wind tunnels buildings, known as R52 and Q121, that were built to test planes, from Spitfires to Concorde, from the first world war onwards. These buildings were decommissioned after the 1960s and have remained closed to the public ever since
The Sick Rose is a visual tour through the golden age of medical illustration. The nineteenth century experienced an explosion of epidemics such as cholera and diphtheria, driven by industrialization, urbanization and poor hygiene. In this pre-color-photography era, accurate images were relied upon to teach students and aid diagnosis. The best examples, featured here, are remarkable pieces of art that attempted to elucidate the mysteries of the body, and the successive onset of each affliction
The engineer was pivotal in developing early aerial and oceanic reconnaissance. During WWII he pioneered the use of a strobe light powerful enough to take night time reconnaissance images. He also worked with the famous marine biologist Jacques-Yves Cousteau, inventing underwater photographic techniques and side-scan sonar devices to map the ocean floor
I was expecting the usual about tattoos: the criminals, the freak shows, the Māori warriors, the virtuosity of contemporary tattoo artists. I certainly found all of that in the show. I wasn’t however expecting to be shocked by the way tattoos were used to mark women
Over the course of a several hour long performance, the Volta team built up a giant and foul-smelling pile that alternated copper plates, clothes drenched in acid and zinc.
I didn’t stand and stare until the final moments of the performance but I wish i had. The goal was to use the oversized battery to produce enough energy for one light bulb, suspended from the ceiling
Few people would associate the words “English heritage” with car showrooms, repair garages, filling stations, traffic lights, inner ring roads, multi-storey car parks, and drive-through restaurants. Yet, the exhibition at Wellington Arch shows that the car’s impact on the physical environment needn’t be reduced to ruthless out pours of concrete and “wayside eyesores”
When Harmony Went to Hell. Congo Dialogues at Rivington Place in London brings side by side archive photos shot by Alice Seeley Harris while Leopold II was still the sole owner of the land and new work from Sammy Baloji, a Congolese artist who has spent the past few years investigating the legacies of colonialism in his country
The exhibition focuses on the area of the Piers in New York City during the mid 1970s, and speaks of the state of abandonment and dilapidation these underwent as a consequence of the oil crisis that reconfigured the geography of the city as well as the international market and trading system
The main preoccupation of the exhibition is not the militant commentaries behind artworks but the effect that political values and social movements have had on the production modes, aesthetics and communication of visual culture. As such Art Turning Left stands out from other shows dedicated to political art or activism
n All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (a title that refers to a passage in Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto. ) Deller takes a personal look at the impact of the Industrial Revolution on British popular culture, and its persisting influence on our lives today.
Using stunning photography and video interviews with architects and clients of post-war listed buildings the exhibition will show what makes the post-war era special and why the very best of its buildings are worthy of protection
Formerly secret, highly official photographs show officers and employees putting on professional uniforms, gluing on fake beards, or signaling to each other with their hands. Today, the sight of them is almost ridiculous, although the laughter sticks in the viewer’s throat. This publication can be regarded as a visual processing of German history and an examination of current surveillance issues, yet it is extremely amusing at the same time
In the late 1960s, Tony Ray-Jones traveled across his country in a VW camper to document the leisure and pleasures of the English. He was a man who lived by his own rules. One of them was to never take a boring photo. There are dozens of images in the exhibition and none of them is remotely insipid
While emphasizing the multiple correspondences between collectives and groups like Arte Povera, Archizoom, Superstudio, and figures such as Ettore Sottsass and Alessandro Mendini, The Italian Avant-Garde: 1968-1976 also highlights previously overlooked spaces, works, and performances generated by Zoo, Gruppo 9999, and Cavart. Newly commissioned interviews and essays by historians and curators shed light on the era, while contemporary practitioners discuss its complex legacy
A few words and many images about two exhibitions i saw in Madrid a few weeks ago. One is all about the American landscape. The other shows hairdressers and butchers living in Galicia decades ago
Star Wars movie sets silently decaying in the deserts of Tunisia, eccentric monuments on Peru’s public squares, decline of Lima’s (analogical) record industry, fragments of technological obsolescence, etc. Six artists show work that consider the -sometimes fictitious- relationship between historical monuments and urban ruins
his month Foam has a show titled Primrose – Russian Colour Photography and the word “Russia” always does it for me. The exhibition charts Russia’s attempts to produce coloured photographic images from the 1860s to 1970s. Room after rooms, the visitor realizes that photography is a cogent filter to reveal the history of a country in the course of a century
Resurrection men were body snatchers who often worked in gangs to steal corpses from mortuaries and dug up recently buried corpses to supply anatomy schools with bodies to dissect and study. Unsurprisingly, the poor, often hastily buried, were easier to unearth and carry to the nearest anatomy school.
Odermatt never studied photography. He was a traffic policeman in Switzerland and part of his job consisted in taking photographs of road accidents and of other members of the police at work. From 1948 till 1990, when he retired, he would make one set for the insurance or police reports and a second one for himself