TINAG and Amy Whitehouse

Spitalfields has changed dramatically over the years I’ve walked through it and occasionally taken pictures there. One of the places where the change is most apparent is Spitalfields Market. One of my most talented students went there years ago and did a fine essay on the guys who worked there, handling the fruit and veg.

Last night as I walked through, there was a small crowd around a shop and looking in through the window I saw a woman with an impossible wig singing. She didn’t have a bad voice either, which rather surprised me, as this was the opening of an Amy Whitehouse shop and the paps were busily papping. I thought about taking a picture myslef, but decided I couldn’t be bothered, and hurried on down Hanbury St to the Hanbury Hall, where the TINAG festival was opening.

It’s hard to describe what TINAG is. The letters stand for ‘This Is Not A Gateway, and it’s a three day annual festival which aims to provide a platform for artists concerned with urban issues and to encourage “interdisciplinary and cross-cultural exchange.” You can read more detail in the  ‘Background‘ page of their web site.

Last year, Paul Baldesare and I took part in TINAG, giving a presentation on our work then on show half a mile away in the Shoreditch Gallery, ‘Taken in London‘ and taking part in a group discussion on this and some other presentations. I’d thought about taking part again this year, as our  ‘Paris, New York, London‘ was obviously relevant to their programme, but there were too many problems in actually getting that show on the road for me to put it forward to TINAG.

If you are in London today, Saturday or Sunday (22-24 Oct 2010) it’s worth taking a visit to the Hanbury Hall at 22A Hanbury St, Lodnon E1 6QR. You can see the full programme of events and exhibitions on the TINAG web-site. So far as the photography is concerned there are very definitely some highs and some lows. Among those I really found worth looking at is David Boulogne’s ‘Confessions From The City’, with a presentation of black and white images, most of which are also in his Blurb book “MAKE IT A GOOD EXPERIENCE in the City“, although they look considerably better in the on-screen show. I also liked a series of portraits of workers in a South American market,  Jhon Arias‘s Portraits from Corabastos, the largest food marketplace in South America. Showing next to this is a 3-channel video by Juan Delgado who worked in the same market, with help from Arias who grew up working there, helping with his father’s business. I found his blog about making the film in some ways told me more than the actual presentation

More on this later when I have some time – and perhaps a few of the pictures I did take of this event, even though I couldn’t be bothered to photograph that young woman. I think she was the real thing, though I’ve seen more convincing Amy Whitehouse imitators.

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