With solely three editions on its back, Photo London has quickly become a must-visit event. By bringing together established and up-and-coming photographers, as well as programming a wide range of activities from talks to book singings and award ceremonies, the photo festival is now one of London’s most exciting projects. So from May 17 to 20, visit Somerset House and discover some of the most interesting people working behind the lens.
The main activity is, naturally, the photo fair. More than one hundred exhibitors from all over the world will showcase the endless possibilities of the medium: portraits, landscapes, fashion, architecture, street photography, etc. Pieces by well-known artists such as Herb Ritts, Steve Schapiro, Nan Goldin, and Masahisa Fukase will meet photographs by emerging artists such as Prue Stent, Thomas Albdorf, Maisie Cousins, Juno Calypso, Clement Chapillon or Jocelyn Lee.

But if you’ve ever been to an art fair, you’ll know how exhausting and overwhelming they can be after a few hours. So when your brain asks for some relax, you can always visit some of the exhibitions and installations across the venue. To start with, you can go to Es Devlin’s installation Mask, a projection-mapped sculptural work, and then continue to Darren Almond’s exhibition presented by White Cube, which mixes photography with film, painting and sculpture. After that, head to Austria. The Art of Discovery, an exhibition showcasing five photographers of the country – including Hanna Putz, Klaus Pichler and Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek – curated by the British Journal of Photography.

Once you’re fully recovered, you can’t miss Exit from Paradise, showcasing Japanese and Korean photographers whose work explores topics like race, gender, and politics on East Asian countries. To end, there’s a special exhibition by Daido Moriyama, the renowned Japanese photographer who’s been capturing the country’s urban landscape and society since the ‘60s, when he became part of the Provoke Movement.

But the festival is not only about seeing. Listening to what major figures have to say about photography, the art market, their personal experiences, etc. is also part of this edition’s program. On Thursday, Edward Burtynsky will discuss his three-decade-long career with writer and curator William A. Ewing; and Mary McCartney will talk with Martin Barnes, Senior Curator of Photographs at V&A, will also talk about her body of work. On Friday, you can’t miss the talks by Es Devlin and Alex Prager, and the dialogue between Douglas Kirkland and and Terry O’Neill. And on Saturday, make sure to listen to what Esther Teichmann, Lorenzo Vitturi, and Joel Meyerowitz have to say in their respective talks.
Photo London is taking place from May 17 to 20 at Somerset House, Strand, London.
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Huang Xioliang. Untitled #201705. 2017 | Courtesy See Gallery
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Elina Broherus. Flux Harpsishord Concert. 2017 | Courtesy of the artist and Camera Oscura Galería de Arte, Madrid
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Barbara Cole. Kew At Night. 2016 | Courtesy BauXiPhoto
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Ellen Kooi. Nieuwe Meer - Surfplank. 2016 | Courtesy of the artist and Camera Oscura Galería de Arte, Madrid
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Alison Jackson. Trump selfie with selfiestick with Miss Kenya, Miss Syria, Miss Mexico. 2016 | Courtesy Raffaella De Chirico
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Kyle Weeks. Vapwakuapi Thorn. 2014 | Courtesy Officine dell’Immagine
Gian Paolo Barbieri Audrey Hepburn Valentino Roma 1969 Courtesy 29 Arts in Progress Gallery.jpg
Gian Paolo Barbieri. Audrey Hepburn Valentino Roma. 1969 | Courtesy 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS Gallery