Photo London 2021

Exhibit title:
Photo London 2021
Somerset House
12th September 2021

Photo London '21 offered up an amazing assortment of work. From the sensual, large-scale flower-portraits of Nick Knight with Show Studio to the powerful gaze-bending work of Rut Blees Luxemburg, with artist collective Hi-Noon, Photo London gave a space to the work of established and enterprising artists alike.

A.Bliss were involved in framing a wide range of different artwork for a variety of galleries and artists featured at Photo London. However, we were especially involved in the framing and presentation of both Steve Harries’ show, Octopus, with Webber Gallery, and Dafna Talmor’s show, Constructed Landscapes, with Sid Motion Gallery.

Harries’ show Octopus explores the strength and fragility of glacial and mountainous landscapes. These images of landscapes from around the globe were taken over a period of 10 years, with Harries allowing his curiosity of mountain textures, light, formation, and silhouette to lead him. However, these photographs remained disparate until the poem ‘An Octopus’ by Marianne Moore inspired Harries to see these landscapes as having a fluid influence, enabling him to combine, choreograph, layer, and dissect these images together, enjoying the contrast or parallels of texture, line, and form, in a hitherto unexplored way.

This was why the framing of these reimagined landscapes was so important. Harries and A.Bliss collaborated on the aesthetics and practicalities of the show, float-mounting certain landscapes on top of others, creating triptychs and diptychs that became 3D objects which paid homage to the mountains and glaciers that inspired them. The ancient geology of the subject is replicated by the layers of the mounting, whilst simultaneously exhibiting that these landscapes are re-constructed and collaged. In this way, the framing brings attention to the differences in the landscapes, as well as making them more like the landscapes themselves, with ridges, shifts, and layers. Furthermore, this prioritises the in-person viewing experience over a digital replication, as the three-dimensional aspect of the framing is not properly captured through a flat image.

The intersection between framing and landscape was also explored in our involvement with Dafna Talmor’s show Constructed Landscapes. Talmor similarly experimented with an archive of negatives shot over the last ten years. Finding these images disappointing, mundane, and fulfilling a personal rather than a professional need, she decided to make interceptions directly onto the negatives to transform them. This process of alteration eliminated the specifics that originally disappointed her and created a kind of ‘nowhere place’: an imaginary, utopian space which cannot and will not exist.

Talmor wanted to push the boundaries of landscape and expand the limitations of the photographic frame, which she explored with her L-Shaped construction. This unusual shape was a way of creating a multi-directional image which disrupted traditional framing devices. It was a playful defiance of traditional standards of photography and needed a combined effort of different parties to execute it, with Cannon Griffin cutting the aluminium, A.Bliss mounting the print, and Jack Carvosso framing it. The framing for the 13 small studies (black stained tulip box frames with artglass and fillets), was also integral to Talmor. The artist wanted the crop of these studies to be precise, so that the viewer could see the edges, and therefore the interceptions and construction, of these negatives. It was the first time Talmor decided to frame the studies separately, normally presenting them all in one frame. This was so the artist could experiment with the hang, making individual groups and clusters to highlight certain elements.


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