What do Daisuke Yokota and Thomas Mailaender have in common? On the face of it very little, with the Japanese artist specialising in ethereal, fine art installations, and the French provocateur in deliberately jokey tattoos, pottery and chicken runs (complete with live chickens).
“Society puts too much pressure on us to be perfect when in fact everybody smells bad in the arse,” says Mailaender; “If you look around there are so many extraordinary artists and, when I compare, I have done nothing,” says Yokota. “If I burn out now, I was not good enough.”
But if you look a little deeper, the two artists are both concerned with the fragile materiality of the photograph, and the alchemic process that transubstantiates mundane subjects into the sacred and the profane. So we’ve put their work together this issue, and added images by artists with similar concerns.
Alejandro Guijarro’s Lead, for example, which uses an x-ray machine to illuminate the hidden layers of Old Masters; or Raphael Dallaporta’s Chauvet – Pont-d’Arc, L’inappropriable, a study of prehistoric cave sketches which had to be shot with a robotic camera. Emmanuel Breteau’s Memoire Rupestre, meanwhile, depicts geometric drawings found in Parisian caves.
We also profile Kinfolk magazine, the highly successful indie publication that’s won the tag “the hipster’s style Bible”; and we get the low-down from Emma Bowkett, director of photography for the FT Weekend Magazine and Port.
Our news-driven Agenda section leads with profiles of the Mois de la Photo du Grand Paris, Liverpool’s Look2017 International Photography Festival (this year twinned with Hong Kong), and an interview with Charlotte Cotton, international curator superstar.
Damien Demolder breaks down the “leaner more intuitive” rangefinder, the Leica M10 – giving the kit a detailed analysis, before concluding that it is “leaner, simpler and straightforward to use. And that is a good thing”.
And we continue our commitment to new and emerging photography and photographers in our Projects, which this month include work by Itay Benit, Gregor Sailer, and BJP’s International Photography Award finalist Anthony Prevost.