Photograph by John Goldblatt, from the series 'The Undressing Room', Soho strip club, 1968. Courtesy of the artists's estate.
WHEN THINKING about photography, for me, the main questions have been around the capacity for photographic documentation to shed light on history and culture. How can photography, in the service of history, be more objective and thorough? How do we challenge and encourage veracity? how do we detect and address selectivity, bias and fakery? And what are the dynamics and interplay between word and image?
My writing has appeared in books by The National Portrait Gallery, Prestel, Kehrer, Howard Greenberg (New York), Photoworks and, in magazines including Photographic District News (New York) and British Journal of Photography (London). Subjects have included: Photography and the Weimar Republic; the so-called 'Arab Spring'; Birth of the USSR; Segregation in US Southern States, the legacy of Colombus, the plight of indigenous peoples in North America - through to revisionist appraisals of exponents within what is a highly-selective photography canon.
I have had published interviews with William Klein; Rineke Dijkstra; Wolfgang Tillmans; Peter Lindbergh; David Bailey; Cristina García Rodero; Rankin and Helmut Newton.
Current research interests include the methodology and historic legacy of portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh and, The Special Operations Executive (SOE 1940 to 1946) - a fascinating period in British Intelligence - when modern technological espionage emerged and inspired naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming to write his novels.
In 2020, I jointly curated and edited SHOT IN SOHO with Karen McQuaid - resulting in a book (Random House/Prestel) and an exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery (London) which looked into the history and culture of Soho. The Guardian called the show "a moving melancholic show that shuns the obvious" (Sean O'Hagan). The exhibition included talks, workshops. a silent film screening with live organ accompaniment and a Soho drag and 1970s music night at the gallery in Soho.
I am open to working on new projects involving book projects, editing, curating and public art.
Photograph by Kelvin (Steve) Brodie, 1968, Soho. Brodie accompanied West End Central Police on sweeps of Soho to round-up teenagers cuaght in Soho's sex and gambling industries. Credit: News UK Archive.
Current Research Projects: Karsh
Research into Yousuf Karsh is with the kind permission of Library & Archives (LAC) Ottawa, Canada for Taschen New York.
In Hand. Karsh's 5X4 negative of Cuban leader Fidel Castro shot in Havana in 1971. Courtesy of the Estate of Yousuf Karsh. Photograph Julian Rodriguez.
Current Research: Special Operations Exectutive (SOE): Espionage & Sabotage
Research into the Special Operations Executive (SOE) -
1941-1946 Spanish Section.
Photograph Julian Rodriguez.
Letter from Hemingway (Finca Vigia, Havana) to Karsh (Sparkes Street, Ottawa).
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