UNSEEN AMSTERDAM

LAURA EL-TANTAWY, MAYA ROCHAT

22-24 SEPTEMBER 2017

Seen Fifteen is delighted to be returning to Amsterdam this September to participate in Unseen 2017 – the leading platform for contemporary photography. Unseen has an exclusive focus on what is new in photography, and at Seen Fifteen we share the same passion for celebrating new talent and the latest developments in the medium. We are proud to present the work of two exciting artists who have both had solo shows at our gallery in Peckham, London in the last twelve months – Laura El-Tantawy and Maya Rochat.

LAURA EL-TANTAWY

“For much of my life home has been an abstract place far away from my reach”

Laura El-Tantawy presents a selection of images from her new body of work, Beyond Here Is Nothing. The project is a photographic meditation on the notion of home – a concept that the artist feels disconnected from. El-Tantawy uses photography as a medium through which she can explore questions around personal feelings of rootlessness and belonging in unfamiliar places. The result is a series of atmospheric images that drift dreamlike through different places, seasons and moods.

MAYA ROCHAT

“CILIT BANG! Spray paint! Print onto it! Re-work it! Image overlay, distorting textures, experimenting with chemicals and formats is the way I blur the content of my photographs”

Maya Rochat challenges the notion of traditional photography by playing with invented chemical processes, surprise layers and daring installations which refuse to conform to the confines of the gallery wall. Rochat is premiering new works at Unseen, which have all been intervened on directly by the artist in different ways. For many photographers, the printing process is the last stage of the creative journey. For Rochat, this is where she comes alive – experimenting directly onto the paper, and allowing chance to play a role in the production of the final image. Also launching at Unseen is the new book, A ROCK IS A RIVER, published by Self Publish Be Happy.

Opening Night
Thursday 21st September, 6.30pm-11pm

Artist Talk: Laura El-Tantawy
Friday 22nd September, 2.45pm-3.45pm, Unseen Living Room

Book Signing: Maya Rochat
Saturday 23rd September, 2pm-3pm, Seen Fifteen (Booth 27)

Unseen Opening Hours
Friday 11am-9pm, Saturday 11am-8pm, Sunday 11am-5pm

http://unseenamsterdam.com/

Laura El-Tantawy, Beyond Here Is Nothing (2017)

BURNING WITH PLEASURE #3

ARCHIPELAGO PROJECTS

9 - 30 SEPTEMBER 2017

An exhibition of Artist Books presented by Archipelago Projects

Artists’ books, special editions, independent editions, self-publishing… These words embrace a practice and phenomena which has taken a new direction in recent years. Today, as in the 1960s, self-publishing is a simple way for artists to share their work. For the past three years burning with pleasure has aimed, once a year, to report on the present production of such forms by exhibiting innovative works created from around the world. Focusing on artists using the mechanical image – photography – the selection always intends to reflect on contemporary image culture, and to broaden the discourse on photography and photo-books.

The exhibition will gather 80 works coming from countries as diverse as Mexico, China and Italy. Among exhibiting artists, some like Raymond Meeks only work in the format of the book, never displaying his photographs on gallery walls. For others, like Valentina Abenavolli, the book is a way of articulating her discourse on empathy and violence in the media, but also of spreading her message broadly. For artist Lalu Delbracio the book is the result of a performance, the edition becoming the physical trace of a live action. These are just some example of the innovative ways artists approach the book in the exhibition.

LAURA EL-TANTAWY

BEYOND HERE IS NOTHING

12.05.17 to 04.06.17

“For much of my life home has been an abstract place far away from my reach” Laura El-Tantawy

Seen Fifteen is delighted to welcome Laura El-Tantawy to take over our Peckham gallery space with a solo exhibition to launch a new body of photographs and a self-published monograph, Beyond Here Is Nothing.

Laura El-Tantawy has chosen photography as an artistic medium through which she can explore and question personal experience. Born to Egyptian parents in England, she has lived different periods of her life in the West and the Middle East. These fusions of place, culture and identity are a source of inspiration and enlightenment for the artist, but equally they are a source of unsettling anxiety and feelings of homelessness. In 2005 El-Tantawy set out to explore Egypt, searching for familiarity through happy childhood memories of growing up in Cairo. But as an eyewitness to the events of the Egyptian Revolution in 2011-2013, the plot of her project dramatically changed – “This is not the story I set out to tell”, she said in 2013. Her personal insight into these historical events is now immortalised in the book, In The Shadow of the Pyramids, which was short-listed for the prestigious Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation Prize in 2016.

With Beyond Here is Nothing, El-Tantawy returns to her original subject matter to contemplate the feelings of rootlessness, identity and cultural clashes that underpin her search for where to call home. Shot exclusively on her iPhone she captures abstract glimpses of life on different continents – which she refers to as a “photographic meditation”. Her style is poetic and impressionistic, reminiscent through the use of blur and colour of Saul Leiter’s atmospheric photographs of 1950s New York. Her tools are light, shadow and the natural elements – which she uses to pull the viewer from the West to the East, and back again. Grey puddles, reflected clouds and fallen cherry-blossom flowers signify a moment in El-Tantawy’s London. Orange haze, palm trees and elegant colonial architecture signify a different moment in Cairo. A series of cloudscapes metaphorically hint at broader existential questions about what lies beyond any individual’s notion of home.

Laura El-Tantawy, Beyond Here Is Nothing (2017)

MAYA ROCHAT

GIVE ME SPACE

01.12.16 to 22.01.17

“There are no rules in my process. I use bleach, glue, soap and paint. I find it interesting to see how the eye reacts to different techniques overlapping each other, and want to create something that is only truly readable in the physical, analogue world.” Maya Rochat

Seen Fifteen Gallery is delighted to welcome Maya Rochat to Peckham for her first solo show in the UK. Upon our invitation, she will be transforming our gallery space into a living collage of printed and hand-painted images, video and sound. And for one night only during the opening on 1st December, the gallery will transform with an additional layer as Maya Rochat pairs with Paris-based musician, Buvette, for a live performance.

The title GIVE ME SPACE is symbolic of the artist’s frustration with the accepted boundaries of photography. Classically trained in the medium at ECAL – Ecole cantonale d’art Lausanne – Rochat has been pushing against tradition from the beginning of her career. At the heart of her practice is an intense desire to experiment with fate, and with chemicals, printing processes and installations that refuse to conform to the gallery wall. There is also an underlying reaction to living in our current image saturated times. Rochat’s intention is to invert the saturation effect – by overwhelming the viewer physically, as opposed to digitally. Many of the processes and materials on display in the gallery – flourescent spray-paint, hanging transparent banners – cannot be reproduced in their true form in the digital world. The result: a lingering question about what and how we see today.

Maya Rochat, 2016