Festival preview: Look/13, various venues, Liverpool, until June 15 2013
Launched on the city’s LightNight with a theme of “who do you think you are?”, Liverpool’s international photography festival spans a comprehensive history of forward-thinking photography, from August Sander, at The Bluecoat, to Rankin, whose Alive: In the Face of Death show, at the Walker, represents those “who know they are running out of time.”
© Rob Bremner
Given the sheer number of great galleries taking part, its eclecticism comes somewhat naturally. Rankin’s is one of two shows at the Walker, which also hosts a set of early, largely unseen works by Tom Wood and Martin Parr, many of which were made around Merseyside more than 30 years ago.
Open Eye has a primal-sounding show from French photographer Charles Fréger, known for his carnivalesque works and portraits of a figure known as the Wild Man. Never ones to shirk the subversive and saucy, the gallery’s second exhibition features Eva Stenram’s manipulations of erotic 1960s photos, made in her Drape project.
At Liverpool John Moores University’s Art and Design Academy, an international group show explores subjectivity in video and installation through the eyes of a quartet of artists, and the Victoria Gallery and Museum has invited Hong Kong artist Kurt Tong to explore family history in an installation dotted with Super-8 films and, promisingly, a working Chinese tearoom. The Queen, The Chairman and I is the culmination of a lengthy project by Tong.
The most nomadic-yet-locally-rooted experience might be in The Caravan Gallery. Its wheels are taking to Liverpool One and the Museum of Liverpool with reflections on the real and surreal in everyday life by the Mersey, although Redeye, the Photography Network, is also there to be stumbled upon thanks to numerous group projects at multiple sites around the streets.
FACT, Tate Liverpool and two further shows at The Bluecoat also contribute to an enormous programme throughout the month.
© Tanya Habjouqa
© Keith Medley
© The Caravan Gallery
© Tom Wood
© Charles Fréger