The London Art Fair, held in Islington and now in its 19th year, has introduced a major new photography exhibition to its stable of modern British and contemporary art. Photo50 comprises 50 photographic works chosen from galleries around the world. The show has been curated by students from Goldsmiths College, University of London.
"There has always been photography at the fair," says Jonathan Burton, the fair's director. "But since the photography-collecting market is growing, we wanted to address concerns that potential new collectors might have about value and status, and answer questions such as: How is this an original work? Are the original negatives destroyed? What makes it art?
There are curators to answer basic questions and a booklet on how to collect." There will be a "range of entry points", he says, for collectors who are looking to buy photographs. Prices start at £500.
"We hope that by giving it the feel of an exhibition, it will be reassuring for the new photography collector who has money to spend. We hope they will see that photography is part of a broader critical discourse, discussed in the same terms as painting and sculpture. It helps validate the work."
Images by famous snappers such as Philip-Lorca diCorcia will be exhibited next to work by new artists. The title of the show, Between Mirrors and Windows, has been taken from a 1978 exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art, entitled Mirrors and Windows: American Photography Since 1960.
"The way the work was grouped then was too narrow," says Burton. "To define photographs falling into two camps - mirrors and windows - was too rigid for a medium that is as fluid as photography. What has happened to photography since then has moved on. Our exhibition shows a broad range of work that cannot be defined into these categories, of mirrors and windows, but sits between them."
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