Panel Discussion: Theatres of the Real

2 Jun 2010

Event times

6.30pm for a prompt 7pm start. After 6.45pm rsvps can not be guaranteed a seat.

Cost of entry

Door entry is £5 Foto8 Magazine members and students, and £8 to all others Please email rsvp [at] foto8.com to reserve your place

Foto8 Gallery

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Bus: 55 or 243.
  • Tube: Barbican or Old Street.

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Theatres of the Real: a panel discussion with Tom Hunter, Sarah Pickering and Nigel Shafran about the redefinition of British documentary photography. The discussion will be moderated by David Chandler.


Theatres of the Real is a recently-published book featuring the wok of eight British-based artists (Sarah Dobai, Annabel Elgar, Tom Hunter, Sarah Pickering, Nigel Shafran, Clare Strand, Mitra Tabrizian and Danny Treacy) whose unconventional works extend and redefine a tradition of British documentary photography. Straddling the boundaries between fact and fiction, these images create a hallucinatory vision of contemporary Britain. Many of the photographs in this important and timely book involve situations staged for the cameras: sets have been constructed, actors dressed in costumes and narrative scenarios invented. Ranging from melodramatic reconstructions to small tales of everyday domestic life, these images portray the world as a stage set in which we play out our stories. HOST welcomes photographers Tom Hunter, Sarah Pickering and Nigel Shafran to discuss their work in relation to the book and British documentary photography as a whole. The evening will be moderated by David Chandler, director of Photoworks. Theatres of the Real is published by Photoworks and will be available to purchase and for signing on the night. Tom Hunter currently lives and works in London. His work is often particular, but not exclusive, to the community of travellers he knows as neighbours and friends in East London. He has exhibited work both nationally and internationally, in solo and group shows and is also a Senior Research Fellow of the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. www.tomhunter.org Sarah Pickering is a London based, British photographer who graduated from the Royal College of Art with a MA in Photography in 2005. She has exhibited internationally and in the UK where her work was part of How We Are: Photographing Britain, at Tate Britain, and is currently on show in the photography gallery of the V&A museum. Her work is featured in many publications including the Phaidon anthology on contemporary photography, Vitamin Ph, and has recently published her own monograph with Aperture. www.sarahpickering.co.uk Nigel Shafran first became known for radicalising fashion photography in the 1980's. His current work focuses on the still life details of everyday living-scenarios that are drawn from domestic spaces and the mundane world. Shafran's Charity Shops series is part of an ongoing exploration of this ‘ordinary London'. The high production values of this work together with the artist's deep interest in the commonplace, has led to the creation of melancholic portraits of people and places. www.nigelshafran.com

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