‘Mr Eazi’, 2019, by Adama Jalloh
The name says it all. IN PROGRESS: Laia Abril – Hoda Afshar – Widline Cadet – Adama Jalloh – Alba Zari is just that – an exhibition involving five innovative contemporary artists, all in search of answers, all in the midst of producing unfinished work.
The exhibition, due to open at the RPS Gallery in May as part of Bristol Photo Festival 2021, has been curated by Aaron Schuman. The show is described as a celebration of contemporary photography at its most diverse, dynamic and progressive – five solo exhibitions under one banner. Discover more about the artists uniting for IN PROGRESS.
The artist: Laia Abril
Barcelona-based Laia Abril works with photography, text, video and sound in research-based projects. After studying journalism at university, she moved to New York to focus on photography and began telling intimate stories that explore uneasy and hidden realities related to sexuality, eating disorders and gender equality. She is the author of several acclaimed books including her most recent, On Abortion (Dewi Lewis, 2018), which won the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook of the Year Award.
‘PMS’ by Laia Abril, courtesy Les Filles du Calvaire
In the series Menstruation Myths, Abril questions what it means to be a woman within a society that ignores the menstrual calendar. She investigates the myths associated with menstruation and their cultural origins alongside contemporary data, and explores the repercussions of miseducation and silence. The series is part of Abril’s larger body of work, A History of Misogyny.
The artist: Hoda Afshar
An Iranian-born visual artist based in Melbourne, Australia, Hoda Afshar works with photography and the moving image. She explores the possibilities of documentary image-making and investigates issues linked to gender, marginality and displacement.
‘An Australian solicitor and barrister, and former attorney general’, from the series Agonistes, 2020, by Hoda Afshar
Agonistes focuses on the experiences of former employees who worked in immigration, youth detention, disability care and other publicly funded areas in Australia. Each spoke out as a whistleblower – and now lives with the consequences.
The artist: Widline Cadet
A Haitian-born artist based in New York, Widline Cadet uses photography, video and installation to explore her personal history, as well as race, memory, migration, immigration and Haitian cultural identity from within the United States.
‘Seremoni disparisyon #1 (Ritual [dis]appearance #1)’, 2019, by Widline Cadet
Seremoni Disparisyon (Ritual [Dis]Appearance) is a series of self-portraits – some solitary, some involving other women performing as her double. The photographs often include family and friends, as well as landscapes with a personal or cultural link. Through the repetition of figures, symbols, gestures and props, the photographs play with the idea of fact versus fiction.
The artist: Adama Jalloh
A London-based documentary and portrait photographer, Adama Jalloh’s work revolves around race, identity and culture. She cultivates a conversation rooted in the city’s changing landscape, capturing moments of intimacy, honesty and familiarity that resonate with her own experience – and speak to her audience.
‘Love story’, 2019, by Adama Jalloh
Process is a diverse collection of photographs made over the last seven years, for personal projects as well as editorial and commercial commissions. “Being Black, British, African and a woman have all shaped the ways in which I both see and interpret the world,” says Jalloh, who explores the meaning of home and identity through her images.
The artist: Alba Zari
Born in Bangkok, Alba Zari lives and works between London and Trieste. Educated at universities in Bologna, New York and Milan, Zari has led a nomadic life since childhood. This influences, and is reflected within, her photographic practice.
‘My mother's intervention on our family album #1’ by Alba Zari
Occult is an attempt by Zari to understand The Children of God, the Christian fundamentalist cult she was born into. When she was four years old her family escaped from the group, whose core principles included free love and underage prostitution. Occult explores the beliefs and visual propaganda that led to the recruitment of her biological grandmother into the group at the age of 33, and by default her mother at age 13.
IN PROGRESS: Laia Abril – Hoda Afshar – Widline Cadet – Adama Jalloh – Alba Zari is due to open at the RPS Gallery in May as part of Bristol Photo Festival 2021.
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