Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Follow Your Nose To Paris, SPBH Book Club VI - The Sweet Smell Of Smoke At Off Print

I am very happy to say that as Paris Photo opens to the crowds, my new publication, SPBH Book Club Volume VI will be present with the SPBH Editions at Off Print. So as everyone gets into the Parisian spirit, our new book was today the Book du jour as well as presented on #SPBH Live, demonstrating the performative element to the book. Don't miss out experiencing the smell-o-rama element of the publication in person. You really can't miss it, just follow your nose!


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Shift School Of Photography

What a wonderful three days! London to Berlin to Dresden and back, to teach at the newly opened Shift School Of Photography in Dresden. Founded by the incredibly talented Curator, F/STOP Festival Founder and Photography extraordinaire Kristin Dittrich, this school opened for the first time with an intense 5 teacher, 5 days workshop, with participants that came from all over Germany and even further a field! 

It was an excellent few days, with German efficiency really assisting everything along. It seems the stereotype is true, German transport is something to be reckoned with, not only is it on time, for both arrivals and departures, it is also cheap!!! This is something as a native Englishwomen, I could only dream of having one day.

The school itself is situated in the wonderful city of Dresden. Within high ceilings, every corner you turn is another collection of artist books and inspiration. The light that floods into the teaching rooms highlights each and every curvature of the space, there is an overwhelming sense of calm and inspiration, probably one of the nicest places I have taught in for a long time. 

The entire experience was truly fantastic and I can't wait to return to teach again soon, keep a watch out for future workshops, pop-up spaces and the schedules, this School is going to be offering something very special.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

London - Berlin - Dresden - Berlin - London

I am very, very excited to announce that I will be heading off to Berlin early tomorrow morning to make the journey down to Dresden to the newly opened Shift School Of Photography, where I shall be conducting a 1 day, intensive workshop around Found Material, part of the first course prepared by the school - a 5 day workshop with 5 tutors!

The Shift School of Photography is pioneered through concept, enabling students to be taught in a manner whereby they choose their specialist field. From curation, written, making to collecting, each course is delivered by tutors that see Photography in all its guises and have a distinct specialism in their own practice. 

See more here about the school and keep up to date with all the news: http://www.shift-school.com/

SPBH Book Club VI in 291 Art World Magazine

 
Very nice to see that my new book, SPBH Book Club Volume VI is being viewed far and wide, including in this excellent Chinese based magazine, 291 Art World, based in Shanghai. The magazine has a collection of very interesting contributors including, Li Zhenhua and Lu Pingyuan.

This current issue is jampacked with articles, reviews and interviews with many publishers, curators and shows a varied collection of publications including the much anticipated Chinese Photobook By Martin Parr and WassinkLundgren, of which the wonderful Silvermine books, by fellow collaborator Thomas Sauvin are part of! Other SPBH examples include the excellent Esther Teichmann and Johan Rosenmunthe's books. It's great to have my new book in such wonderful company which includes great friends.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Studio Burning, Book Smoking, Colin Pantal

I am delighted to say that my new book, SPBH Book Club Volume VI has it's first review out already and none other than by one of my favourite photography/book reviewers Mr Colin Pantall! Pantall writes on his blog about my new publication, placing it into the contexts that surround both my practice and the idea of the photobook itself, coming up with some excellent phrases like "So all was well and good in Gibson land" and "this book comes in full smell-o-rama."

Here is a little excerpt from the review, "I think that distances the effect from what makes it so interesting - its directness and the manner in which it changes the way you experience the pictures and puts you in the place using very basic sensory tools. So the gimmick here does not change the ease of how you see the pictures, it isn't something incorporated into the page design. Instead it adds something to how you see the pictures. It's a caption that works on a primaeval level. Smoke and its associations is a fundamental smell that has been with us since some woman rubbed two sticks together and came up with fire."



Monday, 27 October 2014

La Semaine Dernière à Galerie Paris-Beijing

This week is the last week to catch Lunar Caustic at the Galerie Paris-Beijing in Brussels, part of our exhibition, Beijing Silvermine, don't miss out!!! If you are in Brussels or close by, head on down to the gallery to see our work as well as the amazing show by Wang Bing!

Signed, Sealed, Smoked, SPBH Book Club VI

 
 
This weekend saw the Smoke Press start up in London, as the first shipment of my new book, SPBH Book Club Volume VI, a wonderful collaboration with SPBH Editions arrived from the printers, ready for the finale, to be smoked! 

As the day dawned, sunlight shone over the stacks of plywood, tiny screws glistened and the smell of smoke filled the air as the flat packed Smoke Houses, reminded me of their last performance at Unseen Amsterdam, now a month ago. 

Freshly axe cut wood chips where chopped and soaked in water, four smoke houses where put back together and a roaring fire was started with charcoal. The next step was to order, number and sign the books, a fair few hours passed before the smoking could commence and then, everything was ready, it was time to start!

The four smoke houses bellowed with thick white smoke, as one publication after another was placed inside for ten minutes, soaking up all the aromas that the wood, coals and plywood could muster up. After the strict timings where abided by, each book was quickly and carefully placed into plastic, to seal the smell. They were still warm to the touch, a literal nod to the saying, "hot off the press." 

As night drew in, the fire still roared and smoke still poured from the smoke houses, until the first batch was finalised and a weekend of smoking was complete. Signed, sealed, smoked and delivered... very shortly indeed!


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The New Yorker & Le Soir - Arts Libre Review

 

With only a few weeks left to see our Brussels based exhibition, it is fantastic to see how far reaching the works from Lunar Caustic are proving to be and none more so that the 'swimming lady' herself! I am delighted to see that The New Yorker Photo Booth did a great follow-up article on the Beijing Silvermine, after Thomas Sauvin took over their Instagram account last week. 

It is truly extraordinary to see how the use of Instagram is in many ways revolutionising how audiences get to view new imagery.  With an account of 106,000 followers the images that make the cut are seen far and wide by a very active audience.

Reviews are coming for the exhibition Beijing Silvermine and it is great to see that Lunar Caustic is being selected out, here in this double page spread in the Arts supplement, for the newly released French, Brussels based newspaper Le Soir, article written by Jean-Marc Bodson.



Saturday, 18 October 2014

Frieze In All Its Wonder

 
This week saw the opening of Frieze Art Fair and Frieze Masters. London is overflowing with exceptional work, every corner you turn there is another opening, another fantastic exhibition to put on the list and as you wonder through both fairs, the delights await and entice! 

This year saw a slightly different layout, and it was by far the most easily navigable, as the flow of one stand to another didn't throw up any confusion, only once did I find myself a little lost, a sure improvement on past years! I also decided to take on a solid approach this year, working alphabetically, up on side and down another, eyes wide open, head turning left to right, right to left as to ensure I didn't miss any galleries, it seemed to work well.


As I started my mission, there were key galleries that I knew I wanted to spend sometime in, particular artists work that I adore and other finds waiting to be found. Herald Street with Pablo Bronstein's incredible architectural drawings, Frith Street with Tacita Dean's "Quatemary" absolutely stunning, David Zwirner's installation with Wolfgang Tillmans and Francis Alÿs was quite unbelievable. Jack Lavender's works on glass at The Approach were excellent, as too were the stands by Maureen Paley, Vilma Gold and that's just a start! 

As I meandered on, I saw weird and wonderful installations, a giant dice, corrugated cardboard Jabba the huts, classic 8mm film projectors intermixed with weights, powdered pigment canvases, concrete foundation blocks,  all a feast for the eyes, every gallery booth you turned into, something else caught your eye to excite and entertain, and that was just at Frieze Art Fair!


After a fair few hours, taking in the contemporary delights, a relaxing walk up to the Masters, to be yet again overwhelmed by an abundance of unbelievable artworks. What I find wonderful about the separation of the fairs, is the space that it not only physically creates, but psychologically too, as the fresh air, autumnal natural surrounds truly cleanse the mind, ready for the next digestion. 

Frieze Masters in its second year, really is something to be experienced. A complete opposite in every sense from the Art Fair, the Masters has a much softer, gentle atmosphere, a quietness the other couldn't possible have. Works by Pablo Picasso, Hans Bellmer, vintage Gilbert & George, Francis Bacon, Heniz Hajek-Halke to Cincinnato Baruzzi, Auguste Leveque, Vincenzo Civerchio, the list goes on and on, it is really quite astounding! 

So after an inspirational day packed with culture and artworks you could only have dreamt of seeing, what better way than relaxing with a few drinks as the sun sets on Regents Park for another year.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Exhibition Profiled On Paris Photo, L'Oeil, Agenda Magazine and Case Studies In Wallpaper*

  

Fantastic to see that our new show, "Beijing Silvermine" at Galerie Paris-Beijing in Brussels is getting great coverage in the press and being profiled on some great sites. 

To start an excellent article and interview with Mister Sauvin in Agenda Magazine, then profiled in the case studies for Wallpaper* which is very exciting indeed. Next, L'Oeil de la Photographie and not forgetting with Paris Photo, on both their website and Tumblr sites, showing "Lunar Caustic" which looks just fantastic up there, especially against their bright magenta title page and it's only been open less than 2 weeks!


Friday, 26 September 2014

Push The Limits Of What Photography Can Be. Weirdfest Jampacked With Genius. Dazed Digital.

 

Very, very, very excited to see that the reviews are already in on The Smoke House! A wonderful article in the Guardian talks about the third edition of Unseen Photo Fair in an article entitled, "Unseen photo fair: the Amsterdam weirdfest jampacked with genius." Sean O'Hagan writes about the performance,

"As night fell on Thursday, smoke filled the air outside the former gasworks. It was wafting from a barbecue bucket tended by London-based artist Melinda Gibson, who was inviting passersby to partake in a performance called The Smoke House. In four small smoke houses, copies of her new book (the latest Self Publish, Be Happy book-club offering) were absorbing wood and coal smoke. Once hot, they were sealed and sold to the public. It was, so the programme says, “a ritual act of defiance” linked to an actual fire that damaged Gibson’s studio recently – but it became a large gathering of revellers drawn to the campfire atmosphere. I went to dinner reeking of smoked photobook."

Then Unseen itself talks of the performance as, "On Thursday evening, Unseen’s programme spilled out onto a space on the Festival Ground outside the Living Room, to push the limits of what photography can be with a live performance by British artist Melinda Gibson. Always one to challenge the boundaries of contemporary photography, Gibson’s latest publication is a meditation on loss and renewal. The Smoke House intrigued and involved Unseen visitors with its ambiguous tone, slipping between destruction and renewal."

Also great to see the performance mentioned in the review of Unseen on Dazed Digital.


Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Debut Of Lunar Caustic Opens At The Galerie Paris-Beijing In Brussels

 
 
So another day and another city, Friday morning saw me board the Thalys from Centraal station to arrive in Brussels to start the install, and gave me a few hours to rest up before the next stage!

I arrived before midday and was soon at the gallery, admiring the incredible space and starting to unpack and look through all the shipments that had arrived for Lunar Caustic. Galerie Paris-Beijing's exhibition space in Brussels is quite extraordinary, a former Hotel; the swapping staircases, parquet flooring and wooden framing is truly stunning and provided a perfect backdrop to the exhibited series, let alone the roster of artists they hold like Wang Bing and Martin Parr!

The opening was a great success with packed rooms filled with viewers wanting to hear the tales of the mine, exploring the differing levels of the project. The ground floor provided the context, a space where the original images could be seen in all their glory. Intermixed with these were documentaries of the journey and an opportunity to delve into 5 kg's of negatives as well as Sauvin's latest idea - Beijing Silvermine beach towels!

Lunar Caustic took hold of much of the second floor, with three rooms providing a process based context right through to the final pieces. A Nitrate stained tray hovered over a plinth, a concrete slab removed from the testing area, showed the corrosive nature of the materials used and created from this tale/series and vibrant test strips start to show how the materials interact with the photographic paper. 

Then onto the next room, where three plinths display objects from the process, stained acid gloves, a bottle and in between the material compound itself - Silver Nitrate. As the sun rises and the light pours into the gallery space, the compound changes, it starts to evolve, from a clean white powder to a darkening black. As the time ticks on, so too will the Nitrate, until only black is left.

In the final room, a clean, bright space displays 12 pieces, full framed photographic prints. Each one is vibrant and saturated, the acid burns shining through and the nitrate granules dirty brown and thick. As the exhibition continues, so shall the works, as they all twist and turn from the light that pours through the windows.

The exhibition runs until the 1st November and more can be seen here: http://www.galerieparisbeijing.com/exhibitions/pr_pages/beijing_silvermine_2014.html