• In the tentatively titled Purple Mountain Magasties, Gregory Halpern takes us on a meandering, dreamlike journey out west, to a California beyond the bright lights and shining stars.  GB: Gregory Barker GH: Gregory Halpern GB: What was it that first drew you to make pictures in California?  GH: At first it was a simple attraction to the sunlight, colour and flora. It was so different from the East coast, and especially from Buffalo, where I grew up. It was like walking out of a dark cave into a bright, psychedelic landscape. Once the shock of the landscape wore off, ultimately I think what excited me was how idiosyncratic the West was as a place and as an idea. Before starting this work I wanted to photograph a place that was impossible to describe, a place [...]

  • After World War II Japan embarked on a period of painful re-building and prolonged introspection that culminated in a rapid period of modernisation that took it from destruction to being one of the world’s largest economies in a few generations. In the immediate aftermath, photographers attempted to react to the situation using the same objective documentary approach that had begun to flourish before the war. Photographers such as Ken Domom, Ihei Kimura, and Hiroshi Hamaya were active advocates for photographic realism, and it was this that emerged as the dominant mode of photography into the 1950s. In Camera magazine Domon argued for a “direct connection between the camera and the subject,” and “the absolutely pure snapshot, absolutely unstaged.’ Defining photographic-realism as ‘strictly a realm in which only the [...]

  • It is ten years since the publication of Hal Foster’s influential essay “An Archival Impulse”, in which he sought to diagnose significant interactions between contemporary artists and archival materials; and it is not far off twenty years since Jacques Derrida explored the notion of the archive in his influential essay, “Archive Fever”. Looking around, nowadays, “archival art” continues to abound within the contemporary, and examples are too numerous to enumerate here. What is clear, however, is that these manifestations are indicative of the binding ties that we have to history. It is certainly a circumstance that is pulled all the more sharply into critical focus if one compares the situation today to that which pertained one hundred years ago, in which a number of the artistic avant-gardes of modernism [...]

  • The ferocity and bleakness of war, is something that has drawn the attention of photographers almost since the invention of photography. One aspect that has remained largely unseen by the general public, however, is the practice arena for these wars. Such an example of these spaces is the lengthy, and particularly graphic, first act in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. Soldiers, fresh-in and undergoing their conversion from civilians to killing machines, are forced to embrace and prepare themselves for jungle warfare at a military base in South Carolina. While this preparation is dominated by the hardened and aggressive Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, the space in which these new recruits is particularly significant; creating a space in which to rehearse for their forthcoming roles in the Vietnam War. The themes of this opening [...]
  • This week HOTSHOE will once again in residence at the London Art Fair - the UK’s premier Modern British and contemporary art Fair. The 27th edition of the Fair brings together over one hundred carefully selected galleries from the UK and overseas, with two curated sections, Art Projects and Photo50, running alongside the main fair at the Business Design Centre in Islington.Entitled ‘Against Nature’, this year’s Photo50 exhibition curated by Sheyi Bankale, poses a series of questions that consider what it is to look at and display a photograph and how a photograph can be elevated to the status of an object, act or intervention.Find out more info, and book your ticket HERE [...]
  • Named after NASA's 'Near-Earth Object Program', Barry W Hughes' latest series 'NEOP' takes us on a challenging adventure through his often-sculptural investigations into the aesthetics of outer space. Rosie Gist spoke to Hughes to find out more. RG: Have you always been fascinated by space?BWH: Science fiction had always interested me, but as I grew older and read more about history and science I began to regard space exploration and astronomy as the last true Romantic Obsession for humanity. I’m fascinated by the ideas that we humans attribute to space, and how we deconstruct space through science and logic so as to build an explanation and understanding for our own existence.  RG: What does contemplation of 'the beyond', or experiencing a mediated viewing of outer space (via the news, photos, films, etc.) hold for you [...]