December: Books and exhibitions

Natasha Caruana’s VR photography exhibition

In her latest exhibition of Timely Tale, a project that traces the private world of her mother Penny, as she deals with kidney failure, Natasha Caruana invites viewers to step inside her mother, Penny’s, bedroom via a 360-degree virtual reality installation. Based on ideas of excess, the project explores the challenges of modern living via the photographer’s mother. 

“I’m looking forward to opening Timely Tale this December – a month the NHS is at its most pressured – and all while each political party battles out their health care policies to gain public votes in the 2019 General Election,” said Caruana in a statement provided by the gallery. “By using VR technology viewers are able to step into my mother’s bedroom to see the effect politics are having on a single story.”

Timely Tale by Natasha Caruana will be on show at ASC Gallery in London from 07 until 20 December

© Natasha Caruana

Josef Koudelka: Shooting Holy Land

After four years of touring major film and photography festivals, Gilad Baram’s award-winning documentary, Koudelka Shooting Holy Land, becomes available on DVD and streaming services this month. It follows Magnum photographer Josef Koudelka on his travels through Israel and Palestine, forty years after documenting the Soviet invasion of Prague in 1968. 

On first seeing the nine-meter-high wall built by Israel in the West Bank, Koudelka was deeply shaken and embarked on a four-year project in the region, which saw him confront the harsh realities of violence and conflict. The latest release includes over an hour of unseen material including interviews with Koudelka in his Paris studio, and an interview with Koudelka and director Baram.

Can’t Smile Without You by Martin Andersen

For his latest book, life-long Tottenham Hotspur fan Martin Andersen turned his camera on his fellow fans. Shot between 2013 and 2017, during more than 100 games, Andersen captures a rapidly changing culture and a unique moment in the football club’s history following the demolition of the 118-year-old stadium at White Hart Lane in 2017. Accompanying 119 photographs are texts by lifelong Tottenham fans Felix Petty, editor at i-D Magazine and Joe Kerr, a writer and bus driver at Tottenham Garage.

© Martin Andersen

The Crack Magazine Archives: A decade of shoots & stories 

Bristol-based music magazine Crack is celebrating a decade of independent publishing with an archive of their best photoshoots. From iconic shots of pop producer SOPHIE, to techno stalwart Jeff Mills, as well as Slowthai, A$AP Ferg, Thom Yorke and M.I.A., the book is now on sale in an edition of 1000. Plus limited orders will come with a signed print from Joe Talbot of IDLES or Helena Hauff.

JEW. Photographs by John Offenbach

Currently on show at the Jewish Museum, London, John Offenbach’s latest work explores the nature of what it means to be Jewish today. From religious to secular, rich to homeless, 34 portraits are accompanied by a book featuring the full set of 120 works.

Largely inspired by August Sander’s The People of the 20th Century, both the exhibition and book seek to bring together the diverse faces of Jewish identity across 12 countries, including Ethiopia, Ukraine, Argentina and China. Despite initial resistance to the project’s title, JEW, Offenbach was adamant for it to have this name. “A large part of the project was to re-own that word — it shouldn’t be seen as an insult,” he said.

JEW. Photographs by John Offenbach is on show at the Jewish Museum, London, until 19 April 2020

Patisserie chef © John Offenbach

Rebel Goddess: Legends of ancient goddesses

A new exhibition in London brings together photographs and paintings that draw on legends of ancient goddesses to comment on contemporary issues. Taking Gaia — the mother of Earth in Greek mythology — as a starting point, it presents Dragana Jurišić’s 100 Muses, a long-term photographic project about female identity, alongside Catherine McWilliams’ paintings from the 1960s to the present day, which include two new works inspired by the goddess Gaia. 

Rebel Goddess is on show at Seen Fifteen in London until 11 January 2020

© Dragana Jurišić

Isle collective’s first pop-up exhibition

Photographers Celine Marchbank, Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz, Lynda Laird and Nicola Muirhead are united in a new collective, through their mutual preoccupation with place, memory and history. Their pop-up show at Hotel Elephant Studios in Southeast London will run for two days this weekend (07 and 08 December) presenting images drawn from the award-winning photographers’ documentary series.

© Nicola Muirhead

Vincent Desailly’s The Trap 

Vincent Desailly’s latest photobook The Trap explores the world of Trap music in Atlanta, Georgia. “Trap” has multiple meanings, which are defined at the beginning of the publication. “Trap” refers to a dangerous situation from which it is impossible to escape; “trap house” is a building where drugs are bought, sold and consumed; and “trap music” is a style of hip hop that was developed between the late 1990s and early 2000s in the Southern US. The ethereal images were shot in and around Atlanta, Georgia, in 2018, and capture the people and places connected to the musical genre, and the socio-cultural context from which it developed. The publication includes a passage from The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, who was a major pioneer of the movement.

© Vincent Desailly

Meryl McMaster: As Immense as the Sky

From a rising generation of indigenous artists in Canada, Meryl McMaster draws on her dual heritage to explore identity and its cultural landscapes. McMaster is a member of the Siksika First Nation in Alberta on her father’s side and Euro-Canadian (British and Dutch) on her mother’s. Comprised of new and recent work, this exhibition examines broader questions of being, placing emphasis on the social, cultural and environmental realities of both her indigenous and European ancestors.

In her first solo exhibition in the UK, McMaster will be showing her latest series As Immense as the Sky, alongside selected works from Edge of Moment (2017). The exhibition will also tour to Canada House, London, in Spring 2020.

Meryl McMaster, As Immense as the Sky will be on show at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham from 04 December 2019 until 23 February 2020

© Meryl McMaster