Brighton Photo Fringe 2006
Local Photography and Beyond
24 Hour Museum, November 7th 2006
By Caroline Lewis
Portraits of barbers waiting for clients, Lebanon in the 'sixties and a virtual exhibition via mobile phones are just some of the 60-plus events going on in Brighton for the Photo Fringe. The Fringe, which runs from October 6 2006, is a rich addition to the Brighton Photo Biennial (BPB), the biggest photography festival in the UK. Visitors who are attracted by the big exhibitions will find themselves surrounded by smaller, quirky displays in venues ranging from independent galleries to pubs, cafés and the streets of Brighton themselves.
“The Photo Fringe is an open and inclusive event,” says organiser Danny Wilson, “so anyone can be a part of it – we don’t curate it like the BPB.”
“The Photo Fringe seeks out cafés, shop windows and makeshift galleries, and takes the opportunity to support local artists and photographers in this major international festival.”
Danny’s work will be on show at intimate new gallery The Grey Area (31 Queens Road), as part of the exhibition Vanishing Point. The work promises to respond to ideological modernism, the unconscious and the everyday (to October 23).
Speaking of the mundane, visions of suburbia get warped by Greg Daville at Start Gallery (8 Church Street). Urbicide/Suburbicide runs until October 15.
On the glamorous side of things there’s an exhibition of work by Jerry Schatzberg including iconic images of Bob Dylan and others from the worlds of film and music in the 1960s and 70s. The exhibition is at ourhouse, open on October 7, 21 and 28, 10am-5pm or by appointment (call 01273 676236).
Meeting Hazel Stokes takes a celebrity theme, too. Running at the Permanent Gallery, 20 Bedford Place until November 5, the photos feature a theatre usherette who has obsessively had her photo taken with actors, singers, comedians and entertainers at her workplace since the late 1980s.
Further down to earth, portraits of locals are the stars in other exhibitions. Artist Lisa Creagh has turned a street into a tribute to the snapshot with enlarged photographs taken from the residents’ personal albums, put on display in their front windows. Go to Tidy Street in Brighton’s North Laine before October 22 to see the pictures.
If you have your hair cut in a barbershop before October 29, you might see a nice portrait of the chap with the scissors. No Appointment Necessary is an ongoing project of black and white photographs of barbers, with portraits being shown in six shops around town during the Fringe – check www.photofringe.org for venues.
Other fringe events promise to take you on a journey. Silent Stories, at Invitation To Learn, 9 Trafalgar Terrace, is a photographic journey through Lebanon in the Sixties (October 7-8); Three Journeys at the 106 Bar in the Hilton Metropole, Kings Road, features pyromaniacs in the Nevada Desert and Asian religious rituals (to October 29); Cuba Libre (Mad Hatter café, 35 Montpelier Road) stars the time warped architecture and vehicles of Cuba’s decaying beauty (to October 29).
The Bio-tracking virtual exhibition involves an unusual tour of Brighton, led by your mobile phone. Download the smart phone software from www.bio-tracking.annadumitriu.co.uk and you’ll receive text messages, sonic artworks and beautiful images of microbes as you walk around sites including the Pavilion Gardens and the West Pier. The mobile phone exhibition will be available until the end of November, and a guided tour will leave the Phoenix Gallery at 5pm on October 14.
On October 8 and 18, a free shuttle bus will go from the thirtyfive-a gallery (35 High Street, Kemptown) to live events at specially lit sites, where halogen floodlights will illuminate disused liminal spaces in and around Brighton. The events run from 6-9pm.
No photography festival could be without landscapes, and you can be sure the ones shown in the Fringe are unusual.
Real, Fake and Imagined, at the Regency Town House every weekend in October, presents landscapes that mix illusion, nature and constructed leisure environments. All The Places You Know, at the Lord Nelson Inn, 36 Trafalgar Street, until November 5, alters familiar sights to transform such landscapes as cliff faces into abstract shapes.
The Fringe is also about learning and networking, and discussions, meet the artist events and a ‘Photo Swap’ will all happen in October. For more details on these, and for full listings of the huge number of Fringe exhibitions, visit www.photofringe.org.
Danny says he was taken aback at the number of responses from photographers wishing to take part in the Fringe this year: “We’ve doubled the number of exhibitions, there are more talks and we’ve developed new partnerships. We’ve set something in motion!”