If you are in London this weekend, it worth a trip along to the Old Truman Brewery in Hanbury St, just off Brick Lane, where in spaces T3 and T4 of F Block you can see both the Photolounge and the Photo-Open, both parts of Photomonth 10, this year’s East London Photography Festival. Both are open from 11am to 6pm Fri, Sat and Sun.
The large space of the Photolounge – and more behind me
Photolounge is a three day event which gives a large number of photographers the chance to put up their own small show. The overall standard of work seemed very high, although some of the better photographers had relatively little on show. Far too many for me to comment in detail, but among the work that particularly interested me was Graeme Vaughan‘s ‘Prague: a notebook‘ and work by Jon Cardwell, Andrew Meredith and Steve Schofield. But there was really a pretty overwhelming array of talent on show, with very little that held no interest for me, a considerably higher standard than some other open events, and it reflects the enormous amount of talent in and around the capital.
Given that there are another 92 galleries and exhibition spaces on the Photomonth 10 map, this with over 200 exhibitions and events is by some way the largest annual photographic event in the UK, and has a very good claim to be the most important of them all.
A corner of the Photo-Open
The Photo-Open attracts a high standard of entries and they remain on display every day until 25 October. Also in the same building is one of those 92 galleries mentioned, the Cynthia Corbett Gallery as well as a display by Photobox of the Worlds Biggest Photobook (yes it was big, but…) to mark ten profitable years of their on-line digital printing service.
Many other shows in Photomonth 10 are an easy walk from the Old Truman Brewery, including my own ‘Paris-New York- London‘ around 15 minutes walk away (though quicker if you hop on a bus – and don’t forget you’re invited to our mid-show party on the 20th Oct.) There are over 50 venues within a similar distance, and the map, although not perfect (and our show has been put on Hoxton Square rather than Hoxton Market) is generally rather better than the Brighton one I criticised a few days ago.
But yesterday night, though I could have walked the whole way, I went instead to the bus stop at Primrose St (get off here rather than Liverpool St for the Old Truman Brewery) and took another bus the three stops to Flowers East on the Kingsland Road for one of the truly outstanding shows of the festival (incidentally they recently opened a new London Overground station, Hoxton, very handy for it.)
Upstairs was ‘Guantanamo: If the Light Goes Out’, a part of Edmund Clark‘s very impressive project on the lives of the men who were held in Guantanamo Bay (and that shameful camp is still going, despite Obama’s pledge.) The show at Flowers ends on 14 Nov, but you can also see more of this work at Photofusion in Brixton until November 26 2010. Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files, who almost certainly knows more about Guantanamo than any other single person, has written about this work, and hist site includes an interview from ‘Spoonfed‘ between Clark and Loredano, as well as a selection of pictures. At present the best way to see this work online is at Lensculture, where there are 30 pictures along with text by Clark – and I think gives a better impression of the project than the limited space at Flowers allows; I understand a new web site featuring the project and book is under preparation for next month.
Nadav Kander‘s Yangtze, The Long River fills the ground floor at Flowers (until Nov 13), its large prints impressive on the walls, although the opening was a little too crowded for me fully to appreciate this internationally acclaimed work. I hope to go back and take a longer and calmer look. Instead I went outside for some fresh air and to chat with some of the photographers who had come to the opening. It’s a particularly handy place as there is a bus stop right outside the gallery and so I could make my goodbyes as the 243 came along to take me back to Waterloo.
From the bus – Holborn
From the bus – Waterloo Bridge
Travelling by bus in London at night is usually a visually interesting experience, although one that is difficult to capture. But I sometimes try.