Paris Photo 2022 — Selections
Paris Photo celebrated its 25th edition this last week and demonstrated its position as an unmissable date for the photography audience worldwide.
There was a lot of buzz on social media and most of the galleries brought interesting proposals from artists that I wasn’t really familiar with, which is refreshing and exciting for a platform like us. It was a great chance to discover new talent, refresh some established names and enjoy, not only printed work, but an interesting section dedicated to art books. I felt everyone was in Paris this year!
With over 134 galleries, the fair consolidates as one of the most important events related to contemporary photography. In the last few years, Paris Photo has been growing exponentially in order to become more and more refined and this last week proved it. As previous editions, the fair has presented different sections (Main, Curiosa, Solo and Publishers), even having some galleries with an entirely online presentation.
Ready to discover our favourite works exhibited this year?
I have always been fascinated by Adey’s works. The way humankind and subjects are represented give a sense of quietness, respect, acceptance and exposes the multiple possibilities of the body. We agree light and composition is fundamental in all forms of art. Adey comprehends these qualities and approaches subjects in order to highlight our vulnerability as human beings.
To No Avail is the perfect example to see the artist’s background in contemporary dance, the importance that the photographer gives to balance and delicacy of the human forms when several bodies interlace.
Marco Maria Zanin’s images are part of a wider research about traditions, language and temporality based in two different contexts: his native rural area in North Italy, and Sao Paulo in Brazil. He overlaps elements from both regions in an attempt to break down the barriers that separate them, showing that history cannot be understood as linear or isolated.
I personally selected Family Portrait because it englobes most of the ideas of Zanin’s works. Several totems and vases are washed by a natural light that mirrors what seems to be a palm tree in the background. The contrast between black and white intensifies those elongated shadows caused by the light. A white cover on the right side tears some of them, generating an interesting dynamism in the composition.
A lot of feelings arose when I first saw this work by Chinese filmmaker and photographer Quentin Shih. In fact, all of his works have an undeniable influence from cinema and its inner ability to convey emotions. Specially interested in how we deal with memories and how they affect us, Shih exposes his meditative characters inside ethereal and gloomy scenes.
From my point of view, this image of a faceless naked woman looking through a window framed by a warm and nostalgic light, perfectly resumes Shih’s exploration of memory and shows his sensibility for all the scenes he creates.
Barbara Probst’s practice has been centred around the investigation of the “truth” of the moment. Her ‘exposures’ series are the physical translation of an extensive theoretical study about the roles of photography. We highly recommend visiting her website and reading more about her artistic practice.
From the title of the series: “exposures”, the artist reveals the importance she gives to the technical aspects of photography. Accompanied by normally 2 or 3 cameras, Probst shoots from different angles at the same time, suggesting multiple interpretations of the same situation. Her work confronts the facticity of the medium and in some way refers to a psychological point of view of the subjects photographed.
Hmong American artist Pao Houa Her investigates the potentials of landscape and its transcendence towards other disciplines such as identity, tradition and the Asian diaspora. Her work revolves around her lived experiences, history and aesthetics of the Hmong people.
Usually the images are taken in her empty studio. In untitled (flower bouquet with backdrop), Pao displayed a background with a floral landscape and centred a bouquet of flowers. The organisation of the image is very simple, but the message has a strong appreciation of the landscape in relation to the concept of home, its authenticity and as a product.
Inspired by the history of painting, Cuban-Americans artists Elliot & Erick Jiménez explore the mysticism of religion through fashion, portraiture and still life. Most of his works combine elements from different beliefs. Their photographs connect features from the Catholic religion with universal and local mythologies.
From the title to the size of the work, The Apotheosis of Lukumi is, without any doubt, a strong representation of the artists’ body of work. The image presents a Black figure in the middle of a Baroque fresco scene of the sky accompanied with the representation of saints and angels. By elevating the subject and re-contextualise it, they suggest a new perspective of how to understand history.