Issue 43 - Contents

Les Rencontres d’Arles 2024

Beneath The Surface

For the 55th time, Arles, the historic Roman city in southern France, hosts the prestigious Les Rencontres d’Arles, where municipal buildings are transformed to showcase the visual legacies of photographers and artists worldwide. This year’s theme, Beneath the Surface, explores narratives that uncover divergent paths, often revealing vulnerabilities in seemingly impermeable facades. As expected, the festival boasts its usual grandeur, meticulous organisation, and impressive works by renowned artists. Yet, as Mark Durden writes, it is the traditional photographic approaches that retain a profound impact amidst the festival’s exploration of new directions in the medium.

Silvia Rosi

Disintegrata

Silvia Rosi’s exhibition at Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia showcases 34 artworks across four rooms, unified by the theme of vanishing identity and fractured representation. The collection features photographs from families of African descent in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy that portray the vitality and resilience of the diaspora community. Through her art Rosi serves as a conduit to this history as she connects to the story contained in her family album, reports Mariacarla Molè.

Carmen Winant

The Last Safe Abortion

Carmen Winant works to counter the ways anti-abortion movements and the far right have made punishing attempts to control and dominate women’s bodies and reproductive rights. The Last Safe Abortion, published by SPBH Editions and MACK, focuses on the near 50-year period in which abortion was legal in the US (1973–2022), and presents a selection of photographs that employ Winant’s signature strategies of proximity and volume with radical effect, Gem Fletcher writes.

Lydia Goldblatt

Fugue

Bones, skin, flowers, mirrors, golden light and heavy shadow are sensitively woven throughout Fugue, a new title by Lydia Goldblatt that explores her transition into motherhood while simultaneously carrying the loss of her own mother, she explains to Anneka French. Published by GOST, the book brings together tender photographs and fragments of text that touch upon this complex period within Goldblatt’s life. Her work, also part of a recent solo presentation with Robert Morat Galerie at Photo London 2024, was the toast of the fair.

Lisa Oppenheim

Spolia

In her Spolia exhibition at Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, Lisa Oppenheim boldly addresses the absence left by artworks confiscated or forcibly taken from Jewish owners during the Nazi regime. Utilising innovative photographic techniques, the American multimedia artist conjures the missing items and meticulously details their history. As Jilke Golbach notes, Oppenheim’s profound connection to the archival is palpable, resulting in a visually stark yet conceptually rich body of work.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Exposure

A journey to Nottingham Contemporary prompts reflection on Tina M. Campt’s method of “writing to art” in Taous R. Dahmani’s review of Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s Exposure. Dahmani writes to Sepuya’s introspective world, where intricate dialogues between mirrors, photography and identity unfold, challenging traditional spectatorship dynamics. Through a lens of queer and black representation, Sepuya’s work invites viewers to confront societal norms, embrace complexity, and navigate the fluid boundaries of self-presentation.

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1000 Words is a leading online contemporary photography magazine. It commissions and publishes exhibition and photo book reviews, essays and interviews in response to the visual culture of our present moment. Founded in 2008, the editorial commitment has always been to explore the possibilities for the medium whilst stimulating debate around current modes of practice, curation, discourses and theory internationally.