LOOK/13, Liverpool

LOOK/13, Liverpool

For the 2013 edition of Liverpool’s International Photography Festival, LOOK/13 has collated the outstanding works of photographers such as August Sander, Rankin, Weegee, Martin Parr, Tom Wood, Charles Fréger, Eva Stenram, Kurt Tong and many others. As one of the UK’s leading photography events, the festival unites established photographers with international emerging talent. LOOK/13 will invite its dynamic line-up of artists to explore the idea of subjectivity and selfhood, summing up its central theme in the question, “who do you think you are?” Opening in Liverpool on 16 May for a packed weekend of festivities, the highlights include Redeye’s sixth National Photography Symposium (16-17 May) and PULSE (18 May), an afternoon of presentations by some of the UK’s most influential photographers.

Involving galleries from across Liverpool, The Bluecoat will present work by two of the founding fathers of photography, August Sander (1876-1964) and Arthur Fellig aka Weegee (1899-1968), whose varying styles of realism and portraiture will set the scene for the entire festival and its theme. Elsewhere in the gallery, I exist (in some way), will feature work by eleven artists who explore identity in the contemporary Arab world, while Adam Lee’s Identity Documents will look at what is revealed and concealed in people’s bookshelves.

Nearby at The Walker Art Gallery, three exhibitions open, including a major new project by the internationally renowned photographer Rankin. Produced in collaboration with the BBC, ALIVE: In the Face of Death, will be devoted in part to newly commissioned images of people who are slightly older. Another exhibit is a body of work from the Keith Medley Archive, Double Take, featuring high-street studio portraits of Merseysiders in the 1960s. Each sitter was shot twice using the same glass-plate negative, resulting in a compellingly eerie series of duos. The final exhibition is a celebration of largely unseen work by two of Britain’s best-known and much loved photographers, Tom Wood and Martin Parr.

The photography dedicated space, Open Eye Gallery, presents the first UK solo exhibition by the French photographer Charles Fréger. Including pieces from his Wilder Mann photo book, the presentation explores the mythological figure of the “Wild Man”. Open Eye also presents the first full solo presentation of Eva Stenram’s Drape project, featuring found erotic photos from the 1960s that Stenram has subtly manipulated and transformed into unsettling, disarming, sometimes comedic images.

The Exhibition Research Centre at the Art & Design Academy (Liverpool John Moores University) will present BLACKOUT, an international group show co-curated with artist Imogen Stidworthy, exploring the boundaries of subjectivity through video and installation works by Danica Dakic, Aya Ben Ron, Willem Oorebeek, and Dominique Hurth.

Besides these outstanding events, other galleries such as Victoria Gallery & Museum, Wolstenholme Creative Space, and The Caravan Gallery will be involved. Tate Liverpool will also be presenting, for the first time since acquisition, Barbara Kruger’s 1991/2012 work Who Owns What (Part of DLA Piper Series: Constellations, opening 3 May). The programme also includes FACT’s exhibition, The Art of Pop Video.

LOOK/13, Liverpool, 17 May – 15 June, more info at www.lookphotofestival.com.

1. Steve and Julia by Adam Lee From the exhibition Identity Documents.