“To collect photographs is to collect the world.” Susan Sontag’s (b. 1933) ground-breaking collection of essays, On Photography, offers questions about the pervasive and complex presence of the lens in contemporary culture. Practitioners featured at The Other Art Fair, London – an interdisciplinary platform foregrounding international emerging talent – engage with these notions, exploring and subverting the everyday through new and surprising methods.
For example, Alan Powdrill‘s (b.1967) extensive body of work combines portraiture, documentary, landscape and even hyperreality in order to engage with a multifaceted and ever-changing cultural topography. From scenes of daily life in cafes and sporting grounds to expansive natural vistas and uncanny abstractions, the artist offers viewers a unique and contrasting look into the idiosyncrasies of the quotidian. By taking such diverse approaches – from the quintessentially British Goal Nets and Fun Fair Helter Skelter to the futuristic Match One and Blue Motel – Powdrill highlights the multiplicity of perspectives needed to make sense of the current socio-political climate.
Entering the commercial realm, works by fashion photographer Carolina Mizrahi (b. 1982), featured above, explore images of women in advertising, using bright colours and surreal compositions to tap into notions of artificiality. Challenging gender stereotypes and ideals of beauty, the artist offers diverse, inclusive representations. Mizrahi combines the synthesis of playful, highly curated scenes with a socially-engaged ethos, taking important steps to move the genre forward.
In terms of programming, The Other Art Fair presents a range of innovative highlights. The Guardian Virtual Reality: Crime Scene is one such example, providing audiences with the opportunity to experience technological advancements first-hand. Furthermore, London Futures brings together work from 21 young international practitioners exhibiting in the city for the first time. Prolific designer Morag Myerscough’s bold geometric entrance installation sets the scene for the weekend, transforming the space into an immersive arena for social interaction and emotional stimulation.
The Other Art Fair runs 22-25 March. Find out more here.
1. Carolina Mizrahi, From the Avatar series.