Posted in News

50 Years of The Photographers’ Gallery: 2000s & 2010s

Reading Time: 5 mins

Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographer’s Gallery

The PhotographersGallery is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary having a look again on the presentations that formed it. Here, within the ultimate section of the sequence, director Brett Rogers talks us in the course of the highlights of the 2000s and the 2010s



“By the time I joined The Photographers’ Gallery as director in December 2005 – a length which coincided with two nice presentations on the gallery: Isa Genzken: Der Spiegel 1989-1991 (2005) and Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel: Evidence Revisited (2005) – I used to be in a position to construct on my earlier enjoy of co-curating Reality Check: Recent Developments in British Photography and Video (2002) with Kate Bush,” says Brett Rogers, who stays the director nowadays. “It gave me a singular perception into how the gallery operated and a few of the restrictions it confronted.

“As a ‘punter’ I had lengthy preferred the variety and breadth of the gallery’s programme and was once at all times stunned to head and spot one thing I used to be in particular interested in, handiest to find that the opposite presentations had been simply as, or much more, attention-grabbing,” she says. “To these days, that is one thing I like to listen to. When our guests inform me: ‘I got here in to look ‘so and so’ as I knew and cherished their paintings, however in fact the opposite display was once much more of a revelation to me’.”

© Boris Mikhailov

“As it explored London’s colourful and bohemian scene within the mid Nineteen Sixties, I noticed this as a possibility to open the programme as much as broader cultural audiences – the ones considering movie, type, pop culture and archives, and to develop our personal core pictures target audience.”

To have a good time The Photographers’ Gallery’s fiftieth anniversary this 12 months, Rogers and her group had been sifting in the course of the archives to make a choice (*50*) – a set of probably the most vital moments representing each the historical past of the gallery and the historical past of the medium too. Here, she ruminates at the 2000s, and stocks some of her maximum notable reminiscences from the length. 

One of the ways in which Rogers traced notable tendencies in pictures all through this era is the once a year Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize. “I feel the DBPFP shortlisted photographers every 12 months of this decade in reality replicate the way in which through which the medium was once transferring,” she explains, “from Boris Mikhailov’s ‘collaborative portraits’ in Ukraine (2001) and Juergen Teller’s daring set up merging type and private imagery (2002). A little bit later within the decade the extra direct political engagement with historical past (and the archive) was once mirrored in Walid Raad’s (The Atlas Group, 2007) paintings, in addition to Robert Adams’ (2006) extra classical documentary method to addressing problems of ecological harm and the legacy of [American] historical past.”

The first season for which Rogers was once ‘artistically’ accountable was once in summer season 2006. Under her course, the gallery offered an archival display of prints decided on from the London Fire Brigade Archive (2006). Alongside this, Antonioni’s Blow-Up – London 1966: A photographer, a woman, a mystery (2006) was once proven too – an exhibition curated by means of Philippe Garner and David Allan Mellor that took its cue from one of probably the most iconic 60s films. “As it explored London’s colourful and bohemian scene within the mid Nineteen Sixties, I noticed this as a possibility to open the programme as much as broader cultural audiences – the ones considering movie, type, pop culture and archives, and to develop our personal core pictures target audience,” says Rogers. “The Fire Brigade display exceeded all expectancies, interesting to an excessively various target audience, together with the recent artwork group.”

Alongside its wide-ranging exploration of genres and subcultures, the programme of the 2000s additionally paid consideration to communities internationally, and thru presentations together with Stories from Russia: The David King Collection (2005) and Once more with feeling: Recent Photography from Colombia (2008), it introduced an expansive constellation of tales and lived existences into focal point. 


From landmark presentations to boundary-breaking moments in pictures’s historical past, The Photographers’ Gallery has been a witness and a catalyst to many vital developments of the medium around the years.  There are simply 5 presentations decided on from this ultimate of 5 many years – in comparison to 15 from the 1980s – making it probably the most succinct assortment of all of them. The presentations incorporated are Double Take: Drawing and Photography (2016), which persisted the gallery’s interdisciplinary thread; Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s: Works from the Verbund Collection (2017); All I Know Is What’s On The Internet (2018-2019); and two solo presentations, The Family and the Land: Sally Mann (2010), and Edward Burtynsky: Oil (2012).

Untitled Polaroid from Raised By Wolves © Jim Goldberg.

A nonetheless from the
movie Nova, 2019 © Cao Fei, courtesy of Vitamin Creative Space and Sprüth Magers. Cao Fei is the recipient of the 2021 Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation Prize

Explaining her possible choices, Rogers says, “We selected Sally Mann as a result of I sought after to deal with the problem of why her paintings had by no means been proven in the United Kingdom. There were controversy surrounding her early circle of relatives paintings, however I had additionally just lately noticed compelling new paintings she had produced the usage of the rainy collodion procedure. Portraits of her then-teenage kids who had gave the impression within the early pictures (as kids) however had been now utterly remodeled (as soon as once more) thru Sally’s leading edge method to the photographic medium.” Rogers was once additionally inspired by means of a brand new sequence Mann was once growing, with regards to the shadow of American colonial historical past, set within the American South the place Mann lived. “I imagined {that a} display which blended The Family and the Land would give you the proper context through which to reappraise her early paintings, and exhibit the continuity of her passion in portraiture whilst introducing the more recent panorama sequence to a British target audience for the primary time.” 

Another significantly necessary display from this decade was once All I Know Is What’s On The Internet, which demonstrated the issue of figuring out how pictures has been remodeled within the age of social media. “Over the previous decade, visible wisdom and ‘authenticity’ have turn into inextricably related to an consideration economic system, matter to the in large part invisible movements of bots, crowd-sourced staff, western tech firms and ‘clever‘ machines,” says Rogers. “This exhibition [presenting the work of 11 artists/collectives] sought to map, visualise and query the cultural dynamics of twenty first century symbol tradition. As section of the gallery’s pioneering Digital Programme, and because the first pictures gallery to nominate a curator of virtual programming, in 2011, it was once a thorough exploration of pictures inside a networked tradition.”

Rogers’ ultimate ideas about this decade land as soon as once more at the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, which is hosted on the gallery every year and represents some of probably the most thrilling engagements with the medium by means of artists internationally. Chinese conceptual artist, Cao Fei, was once this 12 months’s winner. From the expanded documentary paintings of Jim Goldberg against the start of the 2010s, to Susan Meiselas on the finish of it, there was once a “distinct narrative trajectory”, Rogers says. Looking again in the course of the winners is helping to track how problems of company and gear got here to the fore.

To in finding out extra in regards to the earlier many years, head to Brett Rogers musing in regards to the 70s, 80s and 90s.

You too can learn our unique interview within the new Activism & Protest factor of BJP with curator David Brittain, who’s liable for the Light Years exhibition. The display runs till February 2022

The publish 50 Years of The Photographers’ Gallery: 2000s & 2010s gave the impression first on 1854 Photography.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.