The publisher of large format magazine Enlarge Your Memories, Jamie Allan Shaw, has momentarily stepped away from the world of printed matter with his new exhibition Fever Dreams, created in partnership with Webber Gallery. The exciting showcase will spotlight the work of four up-and-coming unsigned photographers including Molly Matalon, Grace Ahlbom, Jean-Vincent Simonet and Dexter Lander with the aim of exploring the intersection of fashion and photography.
Each photographer has been given a six-metre space that will transcend the parameters of the gallery and the idea is to bring attention to the sensual, humorous and experimental things talented artists can make when given the space, freedom and endorsement, the show becoming a real-life embodiment of what Enlarge Your Memories has successfully been doing in print. Shaw has worked in close collaboration with the featured photographers and the exhibition is as much about working in tandem as it is about displaying versatile and boundary-pushing work that facilitates genuine artistic synergy.
“My work for this exhibition was born out of a frustration with the downtime involved with the type of photography I do,” explains London-based Central Saint Martins graduate Dexter Lander. To ease his frustration, Lander began recreating the ideas in his head at home using “toys and figurines as models, bike lights and lamps as lights and paper and card as backdrops”. His work is a “colourful mess of characters in a whole heap of situations,” and his visual language is heavy with humour, irony and juxtaposition. “I’ve been fascinated by the work of Pierre et Gilles ever since I got into photography. Their images are a constant inspiration and informed this project a lot.”
“I look at these authorless pictures I’ve been collecting from old porn shops,” says Los Angeles-based photographer Molly Matalon, whose heavily personal work deals with desire, idealisation and power dynamics. She describes her style as “slow and warm,” and the blurred lines between art and commerce through the lens of photography is something that resonates. Her recent work is about “building a mythology about romance” and is also a zoomed-in view of where her head has been for the past two years. “I’m perverted, and collecting a typology of men to look at. I’m clearly very present in these pictures, and at the same time introducing a level of uncertainty about the situations in which the pictures take place.”
Photographer Jean-Vincent Simonet lives and works between France and Switzerland and approaches his practice with a free state of mind. His work features “analogue pictures, digital techniques, collages and montages are melting with fluidity in my practice of photography defined by overcharge, overflow and sliding. Bodies and places, nature and artificiality, poses and feelings are drowning in an aesthetic of excess.” He takes influence from text by Michel Houellebecq, movies from Gaspar Noé and “any kind of mass hysteria you can encounter in real life”. Thus, his work delves into the twisted vision and utilisation of photography that reveals inner feelings, psychedelia and fear.
California-based photographer Grace Ahlbom’s aesthetics play with the idea of pseudo-carelessness.“I try to make my subject feel comfortable and see me as an individual before a photographer. My main technique is to make my images feel like I am just hanging out, and things are casual with my subject,” she explains. She combines photography with sculpture and mixed-media installations in order to deepen her curiosities. After stumbling into a record shop basement that doubled up as a museum of artefacts for Norwegian black metal bands during the 1990s, Ahlbom has been delving deeper into the pits of fanaticism. “My interest in black metal’s fandom and folkloric performance is a huge reference in this series,” she says. “I wanted to have my own take on playing dress up and performing for the camera.”
Fever Dreams runs until March 16, 2018, at Webber Gallery, London.