Dive into the Performance issue with the BJP editor

The new issue of BJP is out now. Editor Izabela Radwanska Zhang talks through what to expect – from a Brexit chronicle to the wide-ranging influences of Carrie Mae Weems

“Sometimes I’m purely the photographer, purely the performer, purely the director,” says Isabelle Wenzel, who shot the cover of our new issue. “I like not having to play the same role all the time.” Wenzel, a trained acrobat, has been performing all her life. Her work celebrates the joy of the human form – its potential, movement and playfulness. It is the perfect entry point for our Performance issue.

Role play is also explored in the work of Rose Marie Cromwell. She returns to the American West after many years, as a photographer, environmentalist, daughter and now mother, grappling for identity among its vast landscape with a loaded past. Carrie Mae Weems has played many roles in her life and work. In this issue, it is one of a pioneer. Ahead of her show at the Barbican Centre this summer, we hear from the likes of Antwaun Sargent and Jess T Dugan, whom she influenced and inspired.

Elaborating on our theme of performance, Morgan Ashcom’s project Open began dramatically when the Israeli security forces prised open his box of film, exposing it to light and transforming his images in an instant. His response was informed by this violent act. Jem Southam too allowed his subject to lead, documenting the swans on the River Exe, winter after winter. Similarly, the landscape takes centre stage in the work of Yan Wang Preston, whose studio in West Yorkshire I visited. Elsewhere, Holly Roussell takes us back to the Reform Era in China. We learn of the crucial role of the slideshow, as a tool for sharing ideas, but also as a medium in photography, projection and performance, which later profoundly influenced contemporary Chinese art.

“Sometimes I’m purely the photographer, purely the performer, purely the director” – Isabelle Wenzel

Last month marked three years since the UK left the European Union. Fatigued by the ‘flat’ journalism surrounding the event, Alejandro Acín pieced together a dark and at times humorous account of the 24 hours leading up to that fateful day. The result is a book of gestures with Acín pondering how Brexit will be remembered in the future. Explore this and so much more in the issue now.

BJP 7912 – the Performance issue – is available to order here 

Izabela Radwanska Zhang

Starting out as an intern back in 2016, Izabela Radwanska Zhang is now the Editorial Director of British Journal of Photography in print and online. Her words have appeared in Disegno and Press Association. Prior to this, she completed a MA in Magazine Journalism at City University, London, and most recently, a Postgrad Certificate in Graphic Design at London College of Communication.