Round Up Week of September 9

1) Shahidul Alam denied bail in Bangladesh

 Shahidul Alam pictured at the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute campus, image courtesy of Pathshala

Shahidul Alam pictured at the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute campus, image courtesy of Pathshala

The well-respected photographer, gallery director, and educator has been held in jail since 05 August, after sharing videos on social media and giving an interview with Al-Jazeera critical of the Bangladeshi government's crackdown on protests

Bangladeshi photographer and Drik Gallery director Shahidul Alam has reportedly been denied bail by a court in Dhaka.

Various local media outlets, including United News of Bangladesh, The Daily Star, and Bangla Tribune, have all reported that Judge KM Imrul Kayes of Dhaka Metropolitan Session Judge’s Court passed the order on 11 September. Public Prosecutor Mohammad Abu Abdullah moved against the bail petition, while Barrister Sarah Hossain stood for Alam – who filed the bail petition through his lawyers on 28 August, asking for it to be granted as he is ill.

Read more…


2) Arles is urged to include more work by women

 Cleaning ladies wash away blood from the stairs of the parliament building in Grozny after four suicide bombers detonated their explosives, killing three other people on October 19, 2010. Courtesy of Olga Kravets, Maria Morina & Oksana Yushko. From the exhibition Grozny, Nine Cities in the World As It Is section in the official programme at Arles this year.

Cleaning ladies wash away blood from the stairs of the parliament building in Grozny after four suicide bombers detonated their explosives, killing three other people on October 19, 2010. Courtesy of Olga Kravets, Maria Morina & Oksana Yushko. From the exhibition Grozny, Nine Cities in the World As It Is section in the official programme at Arles this year.

Rencontres d'Arles says it's "working on it" as an eminent group of photography specialists publish an open letter in Libération urging the festival director to include more women in the official programme. Plus War Primer 2 - an outstanding book for this year or 2011?

Les Rencontres d’Arles is the most prestigious photo festival in the world – that’s beyond question. But according to a high-profile group of photographers, curators, and writers, there’s still more that it could do. They’ve got together to sign a public letter to festival director Sam Stourdzé, which urges him to include more exhibitions by women in the main programme at Arles, and which was published in the French newspaper Libération on 03 September.

The letter is signed by influential industry figures such as Iwona Blazwick, director of the Whitechapel Gallery; Victor Burgin, Professor Emeritus of History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Emeritus Millard Chair of Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London; collectors Claire and James Hyman; and Olivier Richon, Professor of Photography, Royal College of Art, London, as well as photographers and artists such as Clare Strand, Sunil Gupta, and Anna Fox.

Read more…


3) Looking to the future at Unseen Amsterdam

 Green Phone #smudge from the series N-TOKYO, 2018 © Kenta Cobayashi, courtesy G/P gallery

Green Phone #smudge from the series N-TOKYO, 2018 © Kenta Cobayashi, courtesy G/P gallery

Now much more than a 'fair with a festival flair', Unseen returns with Futures, bringing together talents selected by 10 international partners, including BJP

It’s six years since the inaugural edition of Unseen Amsterdam arrived with the mission to shake up the art fair model, focusing on emerging photographers and collectors, and instilling a welcome dose of fun to proceedings. And despite its beginnings during difficult times for arts funding, the ‘fair with a festival flair’ has largely succeeded, developing into something more ambitious than a glorified trade show, with its own public programme and a city-wide celebration of the medium in one of the world’s great photography capitals.

The emphasis remains on championing new talent, and with this in mind, the latest addition to Unseen is Futures, a cross-European photography platform bringing together 10 cultural institutions from around the continent, each with their own talent programmes.

Read more…


 © Francesca Allen

© Francesca Allen

4) Francesca Allen portrays the intimacy of female friendship

For her new book, Francesca Allen spent a month last spring photographing a Japanese musician, and documenting their blossoming friendship

“There’s not enough journalism about female friendships, they’re not given the same credit as romantic relationships, but I actually think they can be so much stronger,” says London-based photographer Francesca Allen, who spent a month in Tokyo last spring photographing the subject of her new book, Aya, a Japanese musician and now Allen’s good friend.

The pair first met in 2016, during Allen’s two week vacation to Japan. Allen, whose work often centres on womanhood and sexual freedom and is regularly featured in publications such as Ripose and The Fader, used part of her time on holiday to photograph Japanese girls. Looking across her selection of images, she felt so drawn to the photographs of Aya that the following year, she arranged to go back and make a book with her.

Read more…


 Leeanne Maxey (MFA 16),  The Choice  (2018) egg tempera on panel, 9 x 11.75”. Courtesy of the artist.

Leeanne Maxey (MFA 16), The Choice (2018) egg tempera on panel, 9 x 11.75”. Courtesy of the artist.

5) A Few Conversations Between Women Charts Generations of Artist Mentorship

An exhibition of female faculty, their mentors, and their students at Boston University reveals the strength in women’s artistic genealogies.

In 1966, Boston University held their annual faculty exhibition. The resulting all-male show was a reflection of the times. Now, over fifty years later, the Boston University School of Visual Arts is addressing this history and changes in the artistic and academic landscape with an all-women faculty exhibition. A Few Conversations Between Women invites the female members of the School’s faculty to exhibit their own work, and to select a female mentor or former student to exhibit alongside them.

A Few Conversations Between Women stimulates an inter-generational dialogue of women artists working across media and at different stages of professional development. By focusing on the bonds formed by women artists across the decades at Boston University, the exhibition highlights the conversations that arise through these channels of influence and examines the multiple artistic lineages of women artists.

Read more…


6) In a Changing Berlin, Artists Face Rising Costs and an Inflated Gender Pay Gap

 Portrait of Sophie Erlund (photo by Anna Kott, 2017)

Portrait of Sophie Erlund (photo by Anna Kott, 2017)

The figures in a new survey by a Berlin artists’ association point to the general struggle among artists to support themselves through art in a city that is becoming less affordable every year.

At a performance art event earlier this month, practically everyone involved was an artist: the sound technician and media installer, the journalist covering the event, the photographer, the bartender. With the exception of the exhibiting artist, all were working side gigs, jobs that pay their rent and allow them to live the gritty and glamorous life of a Berlin artist. In Berlin, as in most other big cities, getting by on odd jobs is the rule for artists. A new study by the IFSE in cooperation with the Professional Association of Artists in Berlin (bbk Berlin) recently produced the precise statistics: among the 1,745 artists surveyed (out of approximately 8,000 working artists in the city) a quarter of men, but only a fifth of the women artists in Berlin are able to cover their living expenses through their art. The figures point to the general struggle among artists to support themselves through art in a city that is becoming less affordable every year; it also uncovers a striking pay gap between men and women artists: men are paid an average 28% more. The city’s reputation for being “poor but sexy,” one of its draws for artists, is slowly becoming “poor and sexist” — a real turn-off.

Read more…