York Art Gallery

This month I visited the new, improved York Art Gallery and during this visit I gained a large amount of influence and ideas from the diverse range of artists that were showcased within the gallery. As a city, York has had a huge historical and cultural impact, this was envisioned throughout the work I witnessed.

Alinka Echeverria – Becoming South Sudan: Chapter One (2011)

Echeverria’s images of South Sudan were portrait images framed and hung on the wall of the exhibition. It was showcased in a three chapter series including photographs which were taken in the weeks preceding the independence of the country. When walking in to this specific room of the art gallery, this is the first piece that appealed to me due to the raw and striking compositions of the images. When reading that the publications were explorations of the societal movement for Africa’s nation, I found that the work
was extremely moving, evoking a feeling of innocence. It is mentioned that “Echeverria proactively countered the portrayal of a continent that historically has been depicted as a site of ‘otherness’.” This means that she consistently welcomes the viewer to see the characters behind the scene.

Becoming South Sudan

Julio Bittencourt – Plethora: Capsule Hotel (2016) & Tokyo Subway (2015)

Capsule Hotel and Tokyo Subway are both projects of Bittencourt’s which he has named Plethora as a whole series, both are similar to one another that have a distinctively original layout. The repetition of similar images placed alongside one another, gives the viewer opportunity to look closer in to the details of each image, however they are then made to almost compare each of the individual details and compositions. The project as a whole is based on overpopulation, which is why the images are so small and placed together, creating close correlation between the images and the subject of the photographs. Out of the two images, the set of photographs in the Tokyo Subway appeal to me, as this is a location which becomes highly overpopulated, therefore the close knit group of photographs represent the idea of claustrophobia and overcrowdedness which can be felt when on this type of public transport. Despite this, Bittencourt’s Capsule Hotel has an interesting composition, in the way it has been photographed through the window of a Hotel room. Each individual is viewed uncomfortable or cramped where they are placed in the image, and the contrasting elements of colour and framing give the imagery a unique view on the subject.

 York Art Gallery

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