In our September 2018 issue, we interview Vanessa Winship and Hellen van Meene about the genesis of their latest works, and the backstory of death and rebirth that led them in new directions. We also speak to Marina Paulenka, the artistic director of Organ Vida festival in Croatia, about the 10th anniversary edition and its focus on the female gaze.
Lucy Davies meets Winship at the Barbican Art Gallery, which is currently staging a mid-career retrospective of her work alongside Dorothea Lange. They discuss the photographer’s decision to step back from making pictures at the height of her success, and how she found her way back after the arrival of her first grandchild. “It has been a rebirth in a way,” she says, speaking about her new direction, “sort of freeing myself from the constraints of my former life. But it was also about conveying the immediacy with which my granddaughter sees the world.”
Van Meene’s new series, which goes on show in Amsterdam this September, confronts the subject of death in an inherently personal way, suggesting that it should be something we approach with greater acceptance. She is interviewed by Jörg Colberg, a close acquaintance. “I don’t know why I was surprised by how ‘Van Meene’ the photographs looked,” he says of her new series. “But of course, this all makes perfect sense. Dealing with death in this photographic way is bold and daring, but I think it pays off. It’s very affecting.”
We also preview eight photofestivals taking place across Europe in September, including Guernsey Photo Festival and Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, South of France, each making the best of outdoor locations and the last days of summer to present spectacular installations of contemporary photography. Not least, we profile Organ Vida in Zagreb, whose focus is on the female gaze. Organ Vida and its all-female team focus on the role of photography in representing and articulating women’s experiences. Charlotte Jansen speaks to the Croatian festival’s founder and chief curator, Marina Paulenka, about how art can trigger action.
Diane Smyth remembers one of the greatest photographers of his generation, David Goldblatt, whose quietly nuanced work chronicled the everyday condition of his fellow South Africans through the dark days of apartheid, and the tumultuous years that followed. Hailed as the lodestar of South African photography, David Goldblatt has died age 87, having spent 60 years documenting the lives and landscapes of his country.
Elsewhere, Laia Abril features in Any Answers, and we continue our focus on the Class of 2018 in Projects, with our latest pick of the best photography graduates from the UK and Ireland. In our Intelligence section, Carol Monpart of The Plant is our Creative Brief, and we test the Fujifilm X-H1 camera.