The Messy Truth - Conversations on Photography

  • 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
  • 65. Balarama Heller - On Sensation

    43:37
    Balarama Heller's practice reimagines archetypal symbols found in the natural world. He explores primal symbols and patterns, both real and imagined, working towards a visual language of preverbal awareness. These symbols interact in a ceaseless cycle of creation and destruction, referencing the cosmological, mythological, and atomic scales. During our conversation, we talk about how his personal history informs his work, his research practice and how he is shifting away from direct observation to the most reduced and refined versions of his work. Balarama lives and works in New York City. Recent exhibitions include Sacred Place with Aperture Foundation / Artsy. Recent group shows include Maelstrom, at 303 Gallery,  New York, You Can't Win, Jack Black's America curated by Randy Kennedy at Fortnight Institute, What's Outside the Window at ReadingRoom, Melbourne AU, Agnes B New York, New Artists at Red Hook Labs and the 2015 Aperture Summer Open. In 2014, he published his first artist book, Into and Through. Zero at the Bone received 1st place for the 2017 Center Awards Editor’s Choice and runner-up for the 2017 Aperture Portfolio Prize. His 2019 project Sacred Place was featured in Aperture Magazine issue 241, with text by Pico Iyer. Follow Balarama @balaramaheller & 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
  • 64. Sheida Soleimani - On Subversion

    01:01:25
    Sheida Soleimani’s work explores intersections of art and activism. She melds sculpture, performance, film and photography to highlight critical perspectives on events across the Middle East, unpicking the complex power dynamics between the region and Western nations. Her work interrogates the dissemination of information in digital contexts, adapting found images from press and social media leaks to exist within alternative scenarios. In doing this, she’s rigorously interrogating the role of images in our lives and psychology, as well as the way they manifest as propaganda in geopolitics. During our conversation, we talk about process, practice, craft, care critique and the importance of spontaneity. Sheida Soleimani (b. 1990) received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2015. Recent solo exhibitions include Ghostwriter, Edel Assanti, London, UK (2023); Negotiators, Kunsthaus Photoforum Pasquart, Biel, CH  (2022); Ghostwriter, Providence College Galleries, Providence, USA (2022); ILVA, Castello San Basilio, Basilicata, Italy (2022); Levers of Power, Silver Eye Centre for Photography, Pittsburgh, USA (2021); Hotbed, Denny Dimin Gallery, New York, USA (2020); Medium of Exchange, Southern Utah Museum of Art, Utah; CUE Art Foundation, New York; Cincinnati Contemporary Art, Cincinnati and Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, all USA (2018-2019). Selected group exhibitions include Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain AmericaA Trillion Sunsets, ICP, New York, USA (2022); Immune Project, Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland (2022); Denunciation!, ACC Gallery, Weimar, Germany (2021); deCordova Biennial, deCordova Museum of Art, Lincoln, USA (2019); Ecologies of Darkness, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin, Germany (2019). Soleimani lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.Follow Sheida @sheidajanam & 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
  • 63. Alexandra Rose Howland - On Storytelling

    45:38
    Alexandra Rose Howland's practice is invested in illustrating the difficult complexities of our existence. Through her work, she seeks to generate a more expansive understanding of how issues around conflict and the climate crisis are portrayed. She does this by resisting the historical notion of photography as a mode of direct representation created by a single author. Instead, she embraces image-making as a social practice, co-creating stories with her participants. Alexandra has lived in the Middle East over the last decade, creating work that aims to challenge and expand the ways that geopolitical events are communicated. Her background as an abstract painter informs her practice, resulting in multidimensional projects that use images, found objects, interviews and video. She has shown internationally with both solo and group exhibitions including Leave and Let Us Go (solo), FOAM Museum Amsterdam, Road to Mosul (solo), London, Textured to Only Us (solo), Los Angeles.  Leave and Let Us Go was published by GOST Books in 2021.Follow Alexandra @alexandrahowland & 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
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