By Libby Russell
The ambitious upcoming international photography fair, Photo London, has attracted a lot of attention. According to co-director of the fair, Michael Benson it aspires to be “The best photography fair in the world - bar none.” Proposing to mirror the impact of Frieze, it aims to transform London’s photography audience, to attract people less likely to attend a photography fair, in a climate where, Benson believes, photography is finally being noticed after previous years of it’s significance being underappreciated. With all the hype, it has a lot to live up to and it’s set to meet expectations with exhibiting artists like Michael Corridore working recently with Galerie Pavlova.
Angry Black Snake (2004-2012) is perhaps Corridore’s most recognised work in recent years. The photography series shows people fighting through clouds of sand and dust, shielding their eyes. Without context the viewer could assume something very different from what was being documented; audiences of outdoor events like racing. These scenes instead seem dystopian and post-apocalyptic. This work inverts the gaze and focuses on the spectator rather then what they’re watching, perhaps reappropriating them as objects, which in turn implicates viewers of the work themselves in the same contemplation.
Earlier this year Corridore exhibited in Frühlings Salon, Galerie Pavlova and now is back exhibiting at Photo London 2015 with the work ‘Transient - The thin line we walk’, an experimental photo series presenting abstracted images of densely populated urban landscapes from an elevated viewpoint. This is a stark shift from his previous focus on deserted and barren areas but it brings us back to peoples collision with their environment. It presents to the audience the issue of ‘humans’ indiscriminate imprint’, making us confront our impact on our environment, illustrating our negligence and imposed ownership upon it. The act of creating the final image has involved many steps of abstracting the original photo. This process of distancing and simplifying questions, Does a photograph become less a documentation of a moment as it becomes less recognizable?
The widely anticipated Photo London is held at Somerset House from 21-24 May 2015. With talk of selfie stick aerobics classes over at Tate Modern, this fair promises to be as focused on the worth of concept driven photography as much as selling work, keeping up with evolving contemporary institutional practices and inviting in new and curious audiences.