Rankin & Sardinia

Two exhibitions down at Oxotowerland: Rankin photographing the rich, powerful and entrepreneurial at gallery@oxo, and just over the road we have three photographers showing the diversity of Sardinia at the Bargehouse.

A smarter man than me would be able to write a review effortlessly linking the old with the new, the modern and the traditional. But I’m not very smart so I won’t even try.

The Rankin exhibition is the more straightforward: twenty images of the twenty winners of the Essence Entre… oh some awards thing to reward the folks who set up websites to sell us tyres, clothes and the like and who are then able to spin something about redefining the paradigm. There’s a composite shot as well, and one of Peter Jones showing off his shiny suit and shiny, shiny shoes.

Needless to say, they all look lovely in a slightly Venture way – each with a prop, high contrast and a white background. Nobody actually screams, “Loadsamoney!” and the little labels talk about helping schools in Nepal rather than shafting their competitors. Still, it does all feel rather hollow.

As for Sardinia. They gave me a free bag, which was nice. And I wasn’t allowed to leave without chatting to two women who didn’t introduce themselves (one appeared to be an organiser, one a photographer) and saying which were my favourites. I went for a nice skyline that reflected the buildings on the shore (ah, a traditionalist) and the whole black and white set which, in a Magnum-y way, has some quite striking folk looking at the camera. I haven’t checked the contents of the bag but there did seem to be some connection with Sardinia tourism so the fact that everything looked lovely probably wasn’t accidental. It’s a nice exhibition though and somewhat more intriguing than the higher profile Rankin one.

Incidentally, Rankin is doing portraits for Oxfam for his latest project.

(See the slightly blurry large image of the.gallery@oxo here).

After the snow, the flood

Chesham is about the worst place in the world after any fall of rain.*

There can’t be many town centres where the shops routinely get the sandbags out or where so little attention is paid when major roads become half or completely blocked by oversized puddles.

Anyway, there’s a bit halfway up Hivings Hill that is especially prone to becoming a lake for a few hours after rain as the blocked drains fail to cope with the water running down. Combine a heavy night’s rain with melting snow and you get an almost unpassable impassable body of water like this one.

Still, I got some nice photies. See this one large here.

(* = a possible slight exaggeration.)

A vintage Leica as modern art

(Larger image here) As Ivor Matanle would no doubt testify: Leica cameras are pretty much art inofthemselves. However, Tim Lee at The Hayward’s Project Space is now (well, until today) displaying one as part of an installation that sees the camera rotate in sync with a mirror, constantly taking pictures of itself.

It’s quite a fun little exhibition actually. The sort of thing that leaves you with a smile on your face though you’re not entirely sure why.

Here’s the whole thing in situ:
(Again, see it large here).

And here’s some guff about Leicas.

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