Your virtual guide to Photo London 2020

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With the annual photo fair moving online, we round-up what not to miss in its digital reincarnation, plus other noteworthy events and exhibitions taking place online and IRL across the capital

Covid-19 has shifted so much into the digital realm, and Photo London 2020 is no exception. Despite the downside of not experiencing art in person, the vast fair, which usually occupies Somerset House, London, translates surprisingly well to the web. Hosted by Artsy, the fair’s digital reincarnation features 109 exhibitors from 21 countries and retains many of its usual features: The Discovery section, hosting emerging galleries and artists; the Master of Photography, who is Shirin Neshat this year; plus, an extensive line-up of talks and panel discussions. Shirin Neshat in conversation with Yasufumi Nakamori, Senior Curator of International Art (Photography) at Tate Modern, for example, should not be missed, nor should artist Silvia Rosi in conversation with Emma Bowkett, Director of Photography at the FT Weekend Magazine. The full programme can be found here.

Within the Discovery section, Accra-based Gallery 1957 showcases the intricate artistry of Joana Choumali who embroiders directly onto her images. While A.I. Gallery, London, presents vivid prints by Tokyo-based Mayumi Hosokura, whose newest book, New Skinwas published by MACK earlier this year. Elsewhere, in the Main section, Goodman Gallery, London, exhibits work from a selection of Neshat’s series, which include Women of Allah —haunting images depicting veiled women, their bodies inscribed with modern poetry written in Farsi, holding, or standing aside pistols.

Untitled. From 'Women of Allah' series. 1995. © Shirin Neshat, Goodman Gallery.

Beyond Photo London, the physical events and exhibitions, which usually coincide with the fair, are decidedly absent— notably Peckham 24 at Copeland Gallery, and Offprint, the vast book fair usually occupying the Tate Modern’s, Turbine Hall, but which has migrated online this year. However, physical exhibitions are still open, but often require you to book in advance, and, of course, wear a mask, and social distance.

In Coco Capitán’s Naïvy on view at Maximillian William, (47 Mortimer Street, London) open until 30 October 2020, the artist disappears into the sea through photographs, paintings, sculptures and ephemera, which imagine a Lost Navy of sorts “in which everyone [is] lost and [can] celebrate this uncertainty”.

Five minutes away at Webber Represents, (18 Newman Street, London) Jeremy Everett’s The Warm Partson show until 10 November 2020, fills the gallery with textured prints, several of which interact with the light and structure of the space. On the occasion of Photo London, Webber hosts an outdoor film projection of Everett’s performance-based films this Friday 09 October 2020 at 7 pm, and exhibition tours on Saturday from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm (a selection of work by several of Webber’s represented artists, including Everett, Senta Simond, Robbie Lawrence, and Zora J.Murff is also one show at the fair). The following weekend Robbie Lawrence will be in conversation with poet John Burnside, online, on Saturday 17 October at 6 pm, and Zora J Murff will be in conversation with art historian Terence Washington on Monday 19 October 2020, online, at 6 pm.

© Jeremy Everett.

At Pace Gallery, just a 15-minute walk from Webber is Trevor Paglen’s latest exhibition Bloom, which is also available to experience virtually via Octopus. Nearby, at The Photographers’ Gallery, 16 series from Sunil Gupta’s past 45 years of work, go on show from 09 October 2020 until 24 January 2021, in what is the artist’s first, major UK-based retrospective: From Here to Eternity: Sunil Gupta. A Retrospective. Gupta’s intimate images take us to the electric streets of New York’s Greenwich Village in the seventies, through to the darkness of AIDs and the struggles and victories of gay communities worldwide, from London to his birthplace, India.

Despite the pandemic, London’s photography-centric cultural offerings remain strong, with a host of exhibitions to accompany Photo London and others, such as Zanele Muholi at Tate Modern opening throughout the coming months.