'A photograph is a secret about a secret... the more it tells you the less you know.'
- Diane Arbus
The photograph presents a convincing reality. Creating instantaneously and with such minimal effort, the protagonist behind the lens is incapable of true objectification. The concept of image purity neutralises its emotional intensity and democratises it to a more conventional aesthetic; information is part of the artist's generated experience, and contemporary image-makers must have an understanding of their antecedents: knowing both where the boundaries are, and when to cross them. An artistic statement allows for a further context to explore beyond the two-dimensional without imposing a vision. Denying it is either wholly meaningless, or a statement in itself. Subconscious motivation can only be applied retroactively and being informed of an artist's motivations can transform works beyond their aesthetic immediacy. The power–indeed, the danger–of photography is in its closeness to depriving us of reality. Simple acceptance of what we see only masks the deep issues that direct its core subject matter.
Grace Brown lives in New York City, and currently studies at the School of Visual Arts. Both Project Unbreakable and 50 Extraordinary Women are ongoing examples of her use of photography as activism.
Natasha Caruana graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2008 with an MA in photography. She is currently Lecturer in Photography at the University for the Creative Arts in Surrey and is the founding director of London's studioSTRIKE.
EJ Major is an artist based in London. She completed a solo exhibition at Matt Roberts Gallery in September 2011, with previous projects including a solo exhibition in the 2008 Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Visual Art. She is currently Lecturer in Photography at Middlesex University.
Pete McGovern completed a three-year diploma in Creative Photography at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham in 1983. 2009 began an exploration of his transgender identity using both transfigured landscape and self-portraiture, three images of which were published in Uncertain States in 2011.
Andre Penteado is a Brazilian artist and photographer, born in Sao Paulo. He developed his skills as a photography assistant in the studios of Latin America's largest publishing house. In 1998 he began a career as a freelance commercial and editorial photographer, which continues through his relocation to London in 2005.
Richard Ansett (b 1966 UK) lives and works in London.
Recent exhibitions include the 2013 Arte Laguna Prize at the Arsenale in Venice and Partly Cloudy at the IZOLYATSIA Foundation Donetsk, following his residency at the same institution. Other recent exhibitions include the 2012 Salon Art Prize, the 2012 Grand Prix de la Decouverte, and Altered States at the Foley Gallery, New York US (2012). His work is in worldwide collections including the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, and the Musee de la Photographie in Belgium.
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