torsdag 15 september 2011

David Gibson ställer inte gärna ut

David Gibson är en del av den nya vågen av gatufotografer som uppmärksammats på sista tiden. Med sitt London som huvudsaklig jaktmark letar han efter situationer, texter och mönster som uppstår i gatuvimlet. Jag har bara sett hans arbete på webben men var övertygad om att han var en av dessa erfarna utställare som jag sökt kontakt med. Så döm om min förvåning när svaret blev en motfråga. Och en uttalad ovilja att betala kostnaderna som följer med utställningar. Det hela utmynnade i en mejlkonversation, och det är den som jag nu delar med mig av till er.


Hello Per

 I am happy to contribute to this but find your questions too narrow because you presume that all photographers are keen to exhibit and this is not sure. I am very wary of exhibiting simply because of the cost and it is important to remember that photographers exhibit in two forms: they either organize one themselves which means they pay for it or if they are of a high-profile they are invited by a gallery to exhibit. Of course there are also groupshows which is a separate consideration.

 So who are you asking, high profile photographers or all photographers? Because you will probably get different answers. I personally am not desperate to exhibit simply because of the cost to do it properly..printing, mounting, etc.

Best wishes

Hello again David.

 I myself belong to the ''pay for it all'' group. And my questions are all about the drive to put on the kind of show that an exhibition is. I agree that the costs are essential in deciding. But if you could set that aside, what motivates you to have an exhibition? I assume that you have had one. I made that assumption given your status in the street photography world. If you still find it not worth the effort, why so? Do you find other ways of showing your work better? Which ones do you then favour?


Hello Per,

 I'm maybe not your ideal candidate for this. I have had a few solo shows some years ago which were well received but ultimately buried in a large city like London. Also, of course it was not a high-profile venue and not enough publicity but I did sell some photos. Was it a good experience? Well, something to have done and learnt from, yes. I learnt that in future to do it properly. And by this I mean to basically wait until the time is right. That time could be a year away now because quite possibly my profile is high enough to attract attention. Another aspect of all this and often tied in with an exhibition is a book. Again it's better to wait. Some people put out Blurb books but I'd much prefer to wait and 'do it properly'

 So this this is my attitude throughout and maybe I've got it wrong. I actually do have an exhibition of sorts of my early black and white work at the moment in a trendy cafe in west London...and again sold a few photos...and got a few compliments. What I'm getting at is that I don't need compliments.

 But putting aside all that as you say. Of course it's good to exhibit because you never know who might see them - and it's nice to see them breathing properly on a gallery wall. So in the next few years I'll try and do it properly.

 A factor these days is the Internet. Photographs reach far more people on a good website that an exhibition ever can but then again a good review on blog of an exhibition adds to it all. I fully admit that you can't beat the feel of seeing photos on a wall, especially if they are framed.

Hope I make sense


Hi again David!

Thank you for your most interesting and refreshing views on this topic. Finally, would you please answer these two last questions about how you look upon other photographers work?


- When you see other photographers exhibitions, do you then think of what makes it so good except for the images? What in that case could that be?

 - Galleries are empty spaces with white walls which need covering up. Even the mere fact of putting frames or something on the walls with text - and then having (ideally) people walk around it creates an event. The function of a gallery is to show things on the walls or the space that stimulates interest.
And the axis of any exhibition is (ideally) the buzz of the Private View. It's all about creating a social event. Many photographers and other people like going to Private Views because of this buzz...they catch up with fellow photographers....and have free beer. Private Views are not the best time to actually look at an exhibition. Most people do a cursory tour of the exhibition and spend more time socialising probably. I'm being a little cynical here. Of course people like meeting the photographer and you never know who might wander into the empty gallery a few days later. There's always that random unknown factor about exhibiting.

- What exhibition have you seen lately that you liked?

- I look at books more than photographic exhibitions but I saw the exhibition 'Be...longing' by Fouad Elkoury very recently at the Beirut Arts Centre. I went to see a selection of Robert Frank films and by chance saw the exhibition by Elkoury. It was good to discover someone who had documented Lebanon over many years. And a very nice book too. In short it was done properly!


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