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The Messy Truth - Conversations on Photography

Conversations on Photography


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  • 70. Lou Stoppard - On Exhibitions

    52:22
    In this episode, Gem Fletcher chats to the curator and writer Lou Stoppard about Exteriors, her new exhibition at MEP Paris and a book of the same title published by MACK. The project takes the writing from Annie Ernaux’s Exteriors where Annie endeavoured to ‘describe reality through the eyes of a photographer.” Lou takes this work and asks the question Can you see a text? Can you read a photograph? And pairs Annie’s texts with images from the MEP’s collection to offer viewers a provocation on how to  see the world anew.  In this conversation, we discuss Lou’s approach to exhibition making, her collaboration with Annie, how she thinks about audience and much more. Lou has written for The Financial Times, Aperture, The New York Times and The New Yorker. Her books include a survey of the work of street photographer Shirley Baker, published by Mack in 2019, 'Pools', an exploration of swimming in photography, published by Rizzoli in 2020, and Exteriors: Annie Ernaux and Photography, published by Mack in 2024, to time with an exhibition of the same name at MEP, Paris.Follow Lou on Instagram @loustoppard Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe five stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com

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  • 71. Minisode - Brea Souders

    26:38
    In today's minisode, Gem Fletcher speaks to Brea Souders about her latest book Another Online Pervert, which charts her multi-year conversation with a female-programmed chatbot. The book published by Mack, combines excerpts from their conversation with images from her archive. It is highly charged, jumping between the playful and mundane to the dark and ruthless as she unpacks the complex relationship between humans and machines in a provocative publication that invites us to think about the future of our own humanity. The TMT minisodes are short, focused conversations with photographers on books, exhibitions, and special projects, focusing on not just how these endeavours came into being but also what they bring out in us in terms of growth and reflection.Follow Brea on Instagram.  Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, please leave a review. It really helps like minded people find the podcast. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. 
  • 70. Minisode - Micaiah Carter

    31:00
    In this minisode, Gem Fletcher speaks to previous guest Micaiah Carter about his first monograph, What’s My Name. The book, published by Prestel, charts over a decade of Micaiah's work interlaced with images from his parent's archives dating back to the 1960s. His work, often celebratory in tone, is a true care practice for everyone he collaborates with. We dig into the emotional labour of making a book, what he discovered about himself and what he had to overcome to put himself out there to create a new American dream. The TMT minisodes are short, focused conversations with photographers on books, exhibitions, and special projects, focusing on not just how these endeavours came into being but also what they bring out in us in terms of growth and reflection.Follow Micaiah on Instagram. Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, please leave a review. It really helps like minded people find the podcast. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. 
  • 69. Rene Matić - On Rude(ness)

    54:33
    Gem Fletcher chats to Rene Matić about a moment of flux in their practice. They are looking differently at the world, their work and the relationships they hold close. There is a change of pace, intention and visual language brewing for the artist who has literally not stopped making since they picked up a camera five years ago. In the episode, they talk about their first solo show, Kiss them from me, at Chapter NY. They also dig into friendship, love, being with each other, tiredness, optimism, nationalism and patriotism and above all rudeness, which is a guiding principle of their practice. Rene Matić (b. 1997, Peterborough, UK) is a London-based artist and writer whose practice spans across photography, film, and sculpture, converging in a meeting place they describe as "rude(ness)" - an evidencing and honouring of the in-between. Matić draws inspiration from dance and music movements such as Northern soul, Ska, and 2-Tone as a tool to delve into the complex relationship between West Indian and white working-class culture in Britain, whilst privileging queer/ing intimacies, partnerships and pleasure as modes of survival. Follow Rene on Instagram. Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode please leave a review. It really helps like-minded people find the podcast. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth, we will be back very soon. 
  • 68. Andi Galdi Vinko - On Survival

    01:06:40
    Andi Galdi Vinko is an internationally acclaimed artist working in photography. Her work draws visual analogies between intensely personal and intimate experiences of motherhood and womanhood and universal human experiences of coming of age, ageing, loss, and the conflict between Western and Eastern European ideologies. In this episode, we talk about her award-winning book, Sorry I Gave Birth I Disappeared But Now I’m Back and everything that went into the project. We also talk about survival strategies and the experience of being a working parent and artist. Andi has been commissioned and published in magazines such as the FT Weekend, Apollo Magazine, Wallpaper, The Guardian, The Observer, Zeit Magazine, Volkstrant Magazine, M Le Monde, Die Zeit, El Pais, i-D, Dazed, Vice, The New Yorker, Tate etc, among others. Her recently published book (Sorry I Gave Birth I Disappeared But Now I’m Back, Trolleybooks, London) was launched at Unseen Amsterdam, at Paris Photo at Ruptures Associes, at TJ Boulting Gallery in London, and Bildband in Berlin with Felix Hoffman. She also won the 2023 Kraszna Krausz Book Award. Follow Andi @andigaldi & Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, PLEASE leave us your feedback in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com
  • 67. Sinna Nasseri - On Starting Over

    52:59
    Iranian-American photographer Sinna Nasseri describes his ability to catapult viewers into every scene he captures as a "gonzo journalism curiosity." He brings the audience along with him, always thinking about what they want to see. As a self-taught photographer, the path was in no way easy, and he continues to craft a life that enables him to work but with the necessary sacrifices. In a surprising turn of events, 2020 became the year that put Sinna on the map. On the show, we talk about the highs and lows of building a career in the photo industry, what makes a good photo, the pressure and discomfort that comes with figuring out your style and a rhythm of working, while also understanding the conditions in which you do your best work.The photographer has spent the last three years working on assignments for The New York Times, Vogue, GQ, Departures, The Sunday Times and Interview Magazine and collaborating with clients like Thom Browne. He lives and works in LA.Follow Sinna @strange.victory & Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, PLEASE leave us feedback in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com
  • 66. Vinca Petersen - On Subversive Joy

    53:00
    Since the 1990s, Vinca Petersen's work has remained an authentic voice of European counterculture, providing diaristic windows onto alternative spaces and lifestyles. A multidisciplinary artist who works in the area of social practice, Petersen's works emerge from a deep social and political engagement with underrepresented communities, giving them a voice and recognition. Her photographic oeuvre captures a period spanning 1990-2004, documenting the artist’s experiences as part of the free party and traveller community. The images juxtapose the sense of escapism and euphoria of this unique cultural moment with the oppressive political climate which outlawed the lifestyles of those responsible for Britain’s rave scene. As well as archiving thousands of photographic images, Petersen has attempted to document a way of life: its flyers, posters and clothes; her work constitutes an archive that records the techno-fuelled raves and lives of the travellers who organised them, but also a creative response to breaking barriers between individuals. Vinca Petersen’s (b.1973) recent solo exhibitions include Make Social Honey - A Collective Search for Joy, Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK (2022); Raves and Riots, Edel Assanti, London, UK. Selected group exhibitions include Techno Worlds, Goethe-Institut, Los Angeles, USA (2022); Sweet Harmony: Out of the Underground, HetHEM, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2022); It’s a Rave Dave, Giant Gallery, Bournemouth, UK (2021); Night Fever: Designing Club Culture, V&A Dundee, Dundee, UK (2021); Rave, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2019); Seaside Photographed, Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK (2019); Diaristic Books, Turner Contemporary, London, UK (2019). Her work is in several public collections including The Arts Council Collection, London, UK; National Portrait Gallery, London, UK; The Monsoon Collection, London, UK; Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK. Vinca Petersen (b. 1973) lives on the Isle of Skye. You can support Vinca's work here: https://www.patreon.com/VincaPetersenFollow Vinca @vincapetersen & Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, PLEASE leave us your feedback in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com