I visited the London Dust exhibition by Blees Luxemburg at the museum of London after having found it online and the subject matter and few images that I saw interested me greatly. I was interested to see how the rest of the work would reflect the political and financial theme. However when I got there I have to say I was disappointed. I understand that the review on the museum of London’s website stated that it was a small exhibition but this was an understatement.
Once finding the exhibition within the museum I wondered if I was missing part of it, round the corner maybe. Though I was not mistaken, this exhibition really did consist of about 4 walls of work, 2 of which were artist statements and other text. I did like the idea of including the second wall of text however the photographic and film work provided just didn’t support it, there definitely needed to be more!
For a photographers solo exhibition I was surprised about the placing within the gallery itself, forgetting about the small amount of work provided I felt like the exhibition had been given the last remaining spot that no one really wants, it seemed like they just had to fill it? Personally I think they may have been better off leaving it. It was in a busy area of the building, right next to the café, this may have even been seen to be in the café as they was no distinctive end to this. This wasn’t my only query about the placing, walking round the corners wondering if the exhibition carried on I found two larger exhibitions, showing completely different things, this led to further disappointment as I just wanted to see more work.
The photography that I did see, did greatly interest me, so the exhibition doesn’t deserve all negativity. I believe that the work reflected what Luxemburg has set out to do, and makes the audience question what they are seeing. At first it just seems like a London scene then you will notice something not quite right, assuming something has been Photoshopped in. However this isn’t photoshop but CGI, but why use CGI over photoshop? In this case it is property developers advertising their new buildings. I think this is a brilliant twist, looking into the future and what may go wrong instead of the problems that already exist. As I mentioned earlier I really liked the wall with statements/facts but did wonder whether these should have been split up with work or whether this did work and was just generally lacking the work to support it.
Overall I think this exhibition had a lot of wasted potential, and I think it could have been a lot more successful. Although there wasn’t a great deal of work, my main issue was the space that it was given. I think that the work could of spoken more for itself if it was in a more secluded area. While I enjoyed the images that I did see I wouldn’t urge people to visit the exhibition, I feel like you can gain what I did from looking at the images online making it a wasted journey.
We Want More
The series of images in the exhibition ‘We want more’ was curated by Diane Smyth and includes work from many different photographers. This embraces work that was both commissioned and made for personal reasons. This included work from photographers such as Ewan Spencer, Inez Van and William Coutts. I think the exhibition was laid out well, although the photographers work was all very different, with a large variety of subject matter and styles, it was obvious that it was all linked together with the same theme, of music and the appreciation for it and live gigs, it is certainly a celebration of music and the images related to it.
I also liked the fact the although the exhibition was split onto two floors, due to the large quantity of work, this still made sense, splitting the photographers by what their subject matter was, either the musicians or the fans. This allowed the work to have breathing space and let it speak for itself. If all the work was crammed together it would have been hard to tell who’s was who’s and what was going on, however as there was plenty of clear space along with the images making it easy to see the separation and determine who’s the work was.
I think that this type of photography is sometimes forgotten about and now mainly run by social media and people posting their experiences on their blogs/sites, by visiting this exhibition I certainly rediscovered my love for this style of documentary photography. No aspect of the industry was missed within the display of this and it certainly needs praise for this.
It is hard to choose a photographer whose work I liked most however I think Ewan Spencer and Dan Wilton probably made the images that I remembered the most. I loved that Ewan Spencer showed a side that not many people see, and shows the imperfections and not just what people want to see. This shows the reality of the garage scenes that he was shooting. Dan Wilton’s work also purely of his style, and the career sector that he is in, photographing images for magazines, this work was a personal project however it was still published in a self published zine called STOB EHT.
Overall I would definitely recommend this exhibition to others, I believe that this exhibition isn’t just for people interested in photography but for people who are interested in music too. This wider audience will help others appreciate other parts of society connecting two separate mediums together and not only showing the strong relationship between music and image making but aso the strong connection between the music and the fans.