Magazine of art press and reviews from London
David Franchi – 16th September 2012
“brought together works depicting the gap aspects of London”
“Another London” closes with great success, according to Tate Britain’s numerous visitors. While the eyes of the world were watching sport events in London, the summer of 2012 has been the celebration of the British proud. And it could not be different.
The world had expectation on the UK and London was able to be at the helm of the games situation with not-so-much-hassles, but definitely suffocating any kind of voice that was against.
However, the exhibition “Another London: International Photographers Capture City Life 1930 – 1980” was conceived, together with other events, to present to the world “the best side” of the town.
Well, “the best side” is not the appropriate term. “Another London: International Photographers
Capture City Life 1930 – 1980” brought together works depicting the gap aspects of London, such as the wealthy metropolitan area and the underprivileged people of the inner-city.
“Another London” showed the city as a dynamic metropolis, richly diverse and full of contrast. Emblems of London which would have been known to visitors, such as pearly kings, red buses, punks and bowler hats, were shown alongside iconic works depicting the Royal Family members or the London Stock Exchange, together with images of the urban poor surviving life in the city as pavement artists, beggars and buskers.
Tate Britain showed over 150 classic photographs that illustrated the city and its communities from the 1930s to 1980s. The works in “Another London” were selected from a unique collection of 1400 photographs, The Eric and Louise Franck London Collection. It was brought together over twenty years and has been generously promised as a donation to Tate Britain.
“Another London: International Photographers Capture City Life 1930 – 1980” brought together some of the most celebrated names in international photography, from Henri Cartier-Bresson to Eve Arnold, with less familiar photographers to explore the distinctive ways in which they saw and represented this unique location.
The photographers came from East and West Europe, the Soviet Union, Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean. Therefore, for them London was a foreign city. All of the photographers had different relationships to London: some came to live here, some arrived as refugees, and others passed through as tourists. Whether seen through the lenses of Al Vandenberg from Massachusetts, James Barnor from Ghana, Willy Ronis from Paris, Ivan Shagin from Moscow and Horacio Coppola from Buenos Aires, their experiences of arriving in the city as foreigners informed their perspectives and shaped the photographs they took, resulting in a body of work as diverse as the city itself.
Punk and family class subjects were juxtaposed to the high class society perhaps because photographers were obsessed about it, demonstrating that their interest in a developed democracy – but still a monarchy – is the same of the most ordinary British man in the street.
Almost all the photographs had something in common, which is the London weather. “Another London”, in fact, was not able to avoid the drizzly and grey weather of the capital, and it showed image of rainy bus stop, foggy parks, wan building.
“Another London: International Photographers Capture City Life 1930 – 1980” was curated by Helen Delaney, Assistant Curator, Contemporary British Art, Tate Britain, with Simon Baker, Curator of Photography and International Art, Tate Britain.
From 27th July until 16th September 2012.
At Tate Britain, Pimlico, London.