“Who’s in charge of making history? Who is responsible for the fragile and enduring threads that weave together a world? Where lies the root, the primary cause of the hues of reality?”
So starts “After The High Tide”, a speculative fiction by philosopher Dario di Paolantonio written in response to the works of our graduates for a new book published by Folium.
In the 20th century, the photograph was central to the construction of representations, culminating in the society of the spectacle. Here the eye is at the centre of this spectacle, the frame delineates and orders signs and meanings. Working mainly online, our students have experienced another paradigm shift to that of the society of information and communication. The photograph is no longer a physical artefact, but appears on a screen.
The instantaneity and immediacy that characterises virtual and digital images encourages a frantic consumption and lack of attention.
Our students had to deal with this paradigm shift, finding ways of slowing down or questioning the ideology of the screen and its neoliberal demand for instant gratification. They have found ways to explore and make use of the visual pleasure that characterises physical pictures in order to propose and develop a critical practice of the still and moving image. Working with and against the fluidity of today’s image world, our students brought some opacity and physicality to our experience of the online world.
– Hermione Wiltshire and Sarah Jones, Acting Co-Heads of Photography
Graduation Degree Show: 14 -18 July, Cromwell Place, London. More info here.
© Alexandra Diez de Rivera
Alexandra Diez de Rivera
My practice looks at the vacant space, the empty shell, the skin of things and is informed by my cultural heritage and research around the subject of aura in art. I explore themes of memory, mortality, and identity through emotionally charged and psychologically ambiguous objects and spaces that are imbued with history.
© Anna Lena Krause
Anna Lena Krause
My work explores sociological and cultural phenomena in modern societies, focusing primarily on perception and memory. By combining photography, film and sculpture I explore contrasting modes of representation, highlighting the differences in our shaping of concepts, suggesting that perception is not passive but active, driven by intentionality. My work questions how our understanding of ourselves is influenced by the environments we are nurtured in.
© Bowei Yang
If Spring Could Feel Ache, the project about the masculinity in Chinese adolescent queer group juxtaposed with a retrospective thinking towards the belongingness of queer identity in different social systems. “Aggregation of dreams, a conversation about the collective identity in China, 2019”, a work from the project, depicts a scene that butterflies are attracted by meat and some butterflies are stitched into the meat. From my perspective, utilizing an allegorical and metaphorical method to translate reality is a way to resist photography becoming an index towards reality.
© Claire Sunho Lee
Claire Sunho Lee
How do we assess the reality before us when it is beyond our comprehension? Through childhood into adulthood, I have been reminded of random imagery of memories I have never had. One day, my cousin accidentally told me I had leukaemia when I was little. Tell Me What I’m Remembering includes a series of photographs from these memories and a tweaked transcribing AI to explore the fragility, instability, and fluidity of memories. Both the photographs and the transcribing AI indicate that memories change not only because of their innate characteristics of not being fixed but also because of one’s surrounding factors.
© Emil Lombardo
During the Covid 19 lockdown, I cycled to different areas of London to photograph trans and non-binary people outside their homes. “An Unending Sunday morning” is a photographic documentation of their unique experiences and feelings of isolation, separation and struggle.
© Gokhan Tanriover
The title of the photograph comes from a statement from the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)- an internationally recognised psychological test that the Turkish military uses on gay men wishing to be exempt from the compulsory military service. The MMPI and other set of investigations are used to ascertain the ‘true’ sexuality of the examinee, as a way of legitimising otherness and surveilling bodies that they deem dangerous.
© Hui Lin
My photographic practice emphasizes liquid modernity and self-identity. In many of my works, I attempt to apply the art of photography to questions usually raised by philosophical thinking, such as how people can enjoy their life journey poetically and how people can find peace for their souls when facing a constantly shifting reality.
© Kirsty Sim
I’ve been navigating the conflict between how to create, manipulate, and live in my eager world, and how the impact and excitement of the separation of reality and imagination come into my work. I was concerned with the generation of idol enthusiasts (stan culture), how they might live, function, and engage with others, and how they engage with the gulf between reality and fantasy.
© Luc Schol
Join me on a hike on an ancient habitable moon in between moments of significance and legend. ‘Underneath the Giant’ is an exploration of the sublime and the sinister, and an ode to flux and limbo.
© Melanie Issaka
How do I locate myself when not performing for others? Our society teaches us to look at ourselves through the eyes of others, often leaving us feeling like a stranger in our own body. Feeling uncomfortable under the gaze of my camera, and in extension the gaze of an unknown audience, I created a body of work which examines my relationship with myself and the spaces I occupy. During the process of making photograms, I come into contact with photographic paper in my bedroom. As I become aware of my emotions as a bodily surface, I allow myself to play. On my own terms, in moments of illumination, I expose myself.
© Myro Wulff
I consider these works as materialisations of relationships. It is not me performing an action that achieves an outcome. Instead the outcome is a cut, or record, of all designated things constantly exchanging, influencing and working inseparably together.
© Ning Zhou
The work I produce are inspired by my personal experience, exploring issues such as gender, relationships, and mental health. I usually present them in a form of absurd and funny performances inspired by my personal history, dreams, and imagination.
© Ruudu Ulas
Making Something Out of Nothing is less of a project title and more of a theoretical framework for my practice. It is an inclusive slogan that functions as an umbrella term to keep other, smaller thoughts and images safely together.
I seek balance, the in-between place where the extremities of chaos and order have a ratio that feels just right.
© Svetlana Talanova
My practice consists of camera-less photography. The darkroom becomes my camera. Working in complete darkness I manipulate photosensitive paper, light and time. My work explores the organic nature of photography, ecology and our interaction with the environment. It investigates sensory perception, the role of materiality in photography and how the photograph can retain its status as a physical object.
© Ziyun Zou
Most of my works take the retrospect and memory of childhood as a point of development, thinking about the fragile nature of human beings, and “fragility” is the most critical word that has been repeatedly reflected in all the works. Some personal experiences and fantasy bring me to the deep thought about the current human situation, the human environment or different groups, characters in the whole society, and tripping out from the “herself” try to find “the same kind” or “other people” who resonate with each other. And her works involved research on philosophy and psychology.