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CREDIT: Adama Jalloh

RPS Gallery: May - October 2021

IN PROGRESS: Laia Abril - Hoda Afshar - Widline Cadet - Adama Jalloh - Alba Zari
CREDIT: Adama Jalloh

IN PROGRESS: Laia Abril - Hoda Afshar - Widline Cadet - Adama Jalloh - Alba Zari

May - October 2021 / RPS Gallery

IN PROGRESS: Laia Abril - Hoda Afshar - Widline Cadet - Adama Jalloh - Alba Zari is a collection of solo exhibitions by five of the most innovative photographers and photo-based artists working today. The exhibition is commissioned by the Royal Photographic Society and curated by Aaron Schuman, featuring in the Bristol Photo Festival.

The exhibition refrains from explicitly linking the participating artists around an overarching theme or idea, choosing instead to present a group of one-person shows, consisting of both new work and work-in-progress, that both honour and champion each of their independent motivations and artistic practices.

IN PROGRESS explores an extensive range of issues, including personal history, cultural identity, nationality, community, migration, displacement, memory, morality, belief, responsibility and the creative process. Employing a variety of image-making techniques and approaches, the works on display interrogate and emphasise photography’s role in research, critique, discovery, documentation and self-expression, in the pursuit of both artistic and social progress.

IN PROGRESS: Laia Abril - Hoda Afshar - Widline Cadet - Adama Jalloh - Alba Zari also references the first exhibition curated by John Szarkowski at the Museum of Modern Art - Five Unrelated Photographers: Heyman, Krause, Leibling, White, and Winogrand (1963) - which similarly presented a group of one-person shows, ‘each large enough to indicate the cumulative meaning of a body of work...emphasizing [each photographer's] individual motivation and direction…[and] the independence and individuality of each [artist]’.

Collectively, they celebrate contemporary photography at its most diverse, dynamic and progressive.

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Seremoni Disparisyon #1 (Ritual [Dis]Appearance #1) 2019
CREDIT: Widline Cadet
Bristol Photo Festival

Bristol Photo Festival is a new biennial festival with a year-round programme of commissions, collaborations, and exhibitions by both local and international artists. The first edition encompasses a summer showcase of photography exhibitions across the city followed by a full autumn programme of festival exhibitions and events including a book fair, film programme, talks series and symposiums.

For the first time the city’s major visual arts institutions, alongside independent and unconventional spaces, have come together to create a programme to demonstrate the power and diversity of photography. The festival will launch in the spring with exhibitions including work by Laia Abril, James Barnor, Chloe Dewe Mathews, Jessa Fairbrother, Adama Jalloh, Lua Ribeira, Jem Southam, Sarah Waiswa. This will be followed by major exhibitions in the autumn by Stephen Gill, Lebohang Kganye and Thilde Jensen alongside series of outdoor shows. The exhibitions are accompanied by an events series, workshops and collaborations both on and off-line to bring the festival outside the conventional gallery space.

Credit: Laia Abril

Bristol Photo Festival

Images above by Adama Jalloh, Alba Zari, Widline Cadet and Hoda Afshar

Featured Artists

CREDIT: Mahala Nuuk 2019
Laia Abril

Laia Abril is a multidisciplinary artist working with photography, text, video and sound in research-based projects. She is the author of Thinspiration (2012), The Epilogue (Dewi Lewis, 2014), Tediousphilia (Musée de l'Elysée, 2014), Lobismuller (RM, 2016) and collaborated as a creative editor in many publications including COLORS Magazine.

Her work has been exhibited worldwide and is held in private collections and museums including the Musée de l’Elysée, Fotomuseum Winterthur, FRAC, MNAC and FotoColectania.

Her new long-term project A History of Misogyny has been awarded the 2016 Arles-Prix de la photo Madame Figaro, 2018 Visionary Award, 2019 Magnum Foundation and the 2020 FOAM Paul-Huf Award.

Abril’s book On Abortion won the 2018 Aperture-Paris Photo best book of the year and was nominated for the Deutsche Börse Award. Abril is based in Barcelona and represented by Les Filles du Calvaire gallery (Paris).

CREDIT: Hoda Afshar
Hoda Afshar

Hoda Afshar is an Iranian-born visual artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Working with both photography and moving-image, she explores the nature and possibilities of documentary image-making, and investigates the representation of gender, marginality and displacement.

Her work has been exhibited internationally, published widely, and is held in numerous private and public collections. Recent exhibitions include 'Between the Sun and the Moon' (Lahore Biennale, 2020); ‘Remain’ (UQ Museum of Art, Brisbane, 2019); ‘Beyond Place’ (Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, 2019); ‘Primavera’ (Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2019); and ‘Waqt al tagheer: Time of Change’ (ACE Open, Adelaide, 2018).

Afshar has been awarded the 2015 National Photographic Portrait Prize (National Portrait Gallery, Canberra) and the 2018 Bowness Photography Prize (Monash Gallery of Art, Australia). She lectures in Photography and Fine Art at Melbourne University’s Victoria College of the Arts and is represented by Milani Gallery in Brisbane, Australia.

CREDIT: Widline Cadet
Widline Cadet

Widline Cadet is a Haitian-born artist based in New York. Her practice draws from her own personal history, and examines race, memory, erasure, migration, immigration and Haitian cultural identity.

She uses photography, video, and installations to explore notions of visibility and hyper visibility, black feminine interiority, and selfhood. Cadet earned a BA in Studio Art from The City College of New York, and an MFA from Syracuse University.

Her work has been featured in a wide range of publications and she is the recipient of a 2013 Mortimer-Hays Brandeis Traveling Fellowship, a 2018 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Artist in Residence, a 2019 Lighthouse Works Fellowship, a 2019 Syracuse University VPA Turner Artist in Residence and a 2020 Lit List Finalist.

In 2020, Cadet was awarded the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s Snider Prize and selected as a 2020-1 Studio Museum of Harlem Artist in Residence.

CREDIT: Adama Jalloh
Adama Jalloh

Adama Jalloh is a documentary and portrait photographer based in London. Her work revolves around race, identity and culture, cultivates a steady archive and ongoing conversation around the landscape of London and the transitions taking place within it, and aims to capture moments of intimacy, honesty and familiarity that resonate with both her own memories and experiences, and her audience.

Jalloh received a BA in Photography from the Arts University Bournemouth (2015), and has since pursued a freelance career, working with clients such as The New York Times, British Journal of Photography, TATE, Financial Times Weekend, Sunday Times Style, i-D, Dazed & Confused, The Wire, Royal Court Theatre, Channel 4, Alexander McQueen, Island Records, Adidas and NIKE.

Her work has been exhibited internationally, nominated for numerous awards and selected for the The Photographers’ Gallery New Talent Annual Exhibition and Mentoring Programme in 2019.

CREDIT: Alba Zari
Alba Zari

Alba Zari was born in Bangkok, and lives and works between London and Trieste. She received a degree in Film from DAMS at Bologna University, studied Documentary Photography at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York, and then continued her studies in Photography and Visual Design at the NABA Milan.

Since childhood she has led a nomadic life, which influences and is reflected within her photographic practice. Recent works include Places (2015), Radici (2013) and The Y: Research of the Biological Father (2017), which was born out of a journey in search of her origins through the father she never knew.

Zari’s work has been exhibited in international photography festivals, galleries and museums, including Fotomuseum Winterthur, London Art Fair, Festival Circulation Paris and MAXXI Rome. She has been awarded the 2019 Graziadei Photography Award and a Selected Artist in FOAM Talent 2020.