082 - Vanessa Winship: "And Time Folds" Special

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By Ben Smith. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This episode of A Small Voice celebrates the work and career of British photographer Vanessa Winship on the opening of And Time Folds, her first major UK solo exhibition now showing - in conjunction with a big retrospective of the work of Dorothea Lange - at London's Barbican Centre. You can hear Vanessa's earlier interview on Episode 3 of this podcast. Vanessa and I walked round the exhibition recording this chat as we went.

Here, more or less, is how the Barbican introduces the show: Vanessa's poetic gaze explores the fragile nature of our landscape and society and how memory leaves its mark on our collective and individual histories. Vanessa's oeuvre captures the ‘transition between myth and the individual’, revealing deeply intimate photographs that often appear to avoid specific contexts or any immediate political significance. The exhibition brings together an outstanding selection of more than 150 photographs, many of which have never been seen before in the UK, as well as a collection of unseen archival material.

Vanessa's practice focusses on the junction 'between chronicle and fiction, exploring ideas around concepts of borders, land, memory, desire, identity and history’. Having lived and worked in the region of the Balkans, Turkey and the Caucasus for more than a decade, her epic series' Imagined States and Desires: A Balkan Journey (1999–2003) and Black Sea: Between Chronicle and Fiction (2002–2006) investigate notions of periphery and edge on the frontiers of Eastern Europe, displaying the human condition through a vulnerable, yet intentionally incomplete, narrative. Capturing fragmentary images of collective rituals, means of transport and leisure activities, she presents a frieze of the human landscape in these regions, expressing society’s relationship to the terrain while remaining remote from any precise geo-political or historical events….

In episode 082, Vanessa and I talk about, among other things:

Why the work also belongs to her creative and life partner George Georgiou (Ep. 2)

Ismail Kadare and the oral tradition

The inclusion of audio readings

The importance to her of the written word

What makes a 'good' portrait

Serendipity

Thinking about the sound in pictures

Her very different new work from which the title of the exhibition is taken

The book of the show, published by Mack

Writers mentioned or influential:

Ismail Kadare

Strabo

Neil Ascherson

Richard Powers

Truman Capote

“People ofter say to me “oh your work is timeless” and in a certain way that’s how people read it, but actually it’s more about the folding of time; the here and now, but the going backwards and forwards and the doubling and the extending of time, the cycles of life.”

THIS EPISODE OF THE PODCAST IS SPONSORED BY THE CHARCOAL BOOK CLUB - THE LATEST AND GREATEST PHOTOBOOKS, EXPERTLY CURATED AND DELIVERED TO YOU DOOR WITH FREE SHIPPING AND NO HASSLES.

**VERY SPECIAL LISTENER OFFER**

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INFORM THE MIND, INSPIRE THE SOUL

114 episodes