Five Contemporary Photography Collectives

Brighton Photo Biennial 2014 

An exploration of collaborative working methods, with five very different contemporary photography collectives.

These contemporary views on photography provide a route into current conversations around the resurgence of photography collectives. Invited for their varying styles and their approaches to working together, ABC, Burn My Eye, RUIDO Photo, Sputnik Photos and Uncertain States outline the impact of this way of working, nationally and internationally. Considered here is the dynamic, democratic process of navigating and negotiating a cohesive voice through the notion of a collective.

The international group ABC create, engage and communicate on issues concerning self-publishing. Their project ABCEUM re-imagines the museum as a book installation. Each of the museum’s rooms is a different artist’s book. Visitors can wander a floor-plan of assembled books. ABCEUM is an evolving project with its own changing programme of exhibitions – much like any museum. In ABCEUM, however, the idea of a museum itself can become its own subject.

Burn My Eye grew from a small group of photographers with a shared passion for straight, unposed photography. Wanting to encourage personal development through critique and discussion with respected peers, the members embraced different sensibilities and cultural backgrounds that allowed for a broad set of influences in a close-knit environment. RUIDO Photo, based in Barcelona, is the culmination of the work of a group of photographers, designers and journalists,  who undertake independent photography projects with strong social content and cultural commitment with the clear aim of raising awareness, encouraging reflection and provoking social change. Sputnik Photos is an international collective founded in 2006 by nine documentary photographers from Central and Eastern Europe, united in their desire to observe and describe their shared post-Soviet experience. Photobooks are an important feature of their practice, made in collaboration with journalists and writers to convey a rounded sense of each project. Uncertain States is a lens-based, artist-led project releasing a quarterly broadsheet that expands critical visual dialogue. Themes include how our perceptions of key issues, such as politics, religion and personal identity, are formed. They showcase established and emerging artists through their exhibitions, monthly talks and web-based publications, showing work from all photographic genres. They work in partnership with other organisations, developing an extensive community and opportunities for their contributors.

Five Contemporary Photography Collectives, spread over two venues: Circus Street Market, Circus Street, Brighton, BN2 9QF and  University of Brighton Gallery, 58-67 Grand Parade, Brighton, BN2 0JY. 4th October-2nd November 2014.

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