by Hiroshi Watanabe
Intent on salvaging a bit of yesterday, I remembered late-night opening at nearby Somerset House, where they’re showing the Real Venice photo exhibition, on tour from the Venice Biennale and in aid of Venice in Peril. Finding the Embankment Gallery - two floors down from street level via many minimally signposted corridors and flights of stairs - was unnecessarily arduous, but the gallery, once found, is a lovely, old, low, vaulted space with wooden floors and subtle lighting. As for the photos, wow!
I suppose any half-way decent photographer, never mind this select group of very famous ones, can’t really go wrong in Venice. Still, the variety and impact of these was really gorgeous, intelligent and emotive. A quick selection can be seen here. For a longer look at all those on show in London, and more, go here.
Only Robert Walker predictably made me wince, amidst joyful engagement with the whole two long rooms of big, lightboxed photographs. I often don't care for lightboxes, but these were so superior and the gallery light so lovely also, that it wasn’t an issue. My favourites, perhaps, were Tim Parchikov’s and Nan Goldin’s (the latter not a photographer I can always warm to, even while much admiring her work). Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s almost abstract landscapes also forced me to rethink my instinctive recoil at the sight of his name. Fabulous really, and only £5. I hope I get to go back for another look.