Preparing to launch pic.london

An exciting new conceptual photography festival – pic.london – is set to launch at the end of this month.

The event, from October 26 to November 5, is aiming to bring together established and emerging artists.

Organisers Rakesh Mohindra and Yuxin Jiang are hoping the festival will encourage the public to engage with and think about photography.

“A big thing for me is to see how the public react to this different type of photography,” said Yuxin.

pic.london brings together artists from across the world, at different stages of their careers to present a large scale exhibition in Ambika P3 and Gallery S O.

Exposure #49 – Barbara Probst

A different persepective

The celebration of photographic arts is the brainchild of artist and educator Rakesh Mohindra and artist and writer Yuxin. The pair met at The University of Westminster.

They want to introduce new ideas to an audience who enjoy photography daily through their phones and social media and ask them to think about it differently.

Yuxin explains the idea originally came about because they wanted to create their own opportunities – both for themselves and other artists.

“One day we just thought it takes such a long time to apply for opportunities, why don’t we spend that time creating opportunities ourselves,” she said.

They were also more interested in the ‘conceptual projects’ of photography.

The resulting week-long festival will showcase work from established artists like Thomas Ruff and Barbara Probst. It will also provide a platform for artists at earlier stages of their career, including Miki Soejima and Jorge Luis Dieguez.

“We have been really impressed by the amount of support we have got,” said Yuxin.

“Most of the people we have approached have been really supportive and positive.”

Stability and Constructively – Jorge L Dieguez

An immersive experience

Gallery SO will be the east London hub of pic.london.

It will host The Professor’s Office, a mini library where visitors can explore books, papers, objects and curiosities, taken from the office of a mysterious professor, telling the story of a life teaching photographic arts.

Close-Up Cinema, pic.london’s film programme partner, will be screening a series of historic and recent avant-garde films.

A film programme exploring the long standing and complex relationship between photography and film will include screenings of Letter to Jane by Jean-Luc Godard and La Jetée by Chirs Marker.

pic.london opens and closes with a Critical Cocktail Party.

The party will use graphic designer Aggie Toppins’ books of Critical Theory Cocktails, matching traditional cocktails with philosophical thinkers and authors and devising new cocktails to represent their ideas.

pic.london will be serving guests critical cocktails to encourage critical and conceptual thinking of photographic arts.

Throughout the festival there will be a series of events including a panel discussion on careers in the photographic arts, a talk on the relationship between theory and practice and group critiques where artists put their work forward for peer review.

The festival closes with The Art Flea Market.

It will bring together artists, publishers, makers and designers in Ambika P3 to present an art fair offering people the opportunity to buy affordable works of art, books and zines.

Unknown Exceptions – Aleksei Kazantsev

pic.london highlights

  • An opening exhibition featuring John Hilliard, Barbara Probst, Darren Harvey-Regan and Thomas Ruff;
  • Screenings of the first ten films the Lumière Brothers showed to the public in 1895, at Close-Up Cinema;
  • Aggie Toppins philosophically inspired cocktails at the Critical Cocktail Party;
  • A collection of artefacts, objects and teaching aides in the immersive exhibition, The Professor’s Office;
  • Affordable, accessible artworks, books and zines for sale at the Art Flea Market.

With just days to go until the festival starts, Yuxin said what she was most looking forward to was the public reaction.

“One of the main aims is to engage the public,” she said.

“The type of work we are presenting is not normally photography that the public would encounter. We think the work we are presenting has the potential to change the way the public thinks about photography.”

Event details

pic.london is on from October 26 to November 5.

For a full list of venues and exhibitors visit piclondon.org

Main image: Love 5 – Love=Love by Kent Rogowski

Copy by Sheena Campbell.

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