08 January 2016

The east wing

Somerset House has some marvellous rooms. Those in the East Wing are often used for exhibitions - currently (till 18 Jan) the show is called Disorder: "The Prix Pictet aims to harness the power of photography to draw global attention to issues of sustainability, especially those concerning the environment." 

It's been going since 2008 and is worth 100K Swiss francs to the winner - in this case, Valerie Belin. This time, the network of 260 nominators from 66 countries recommended over 700 photographers and a jury shorlisted 12 artists from 7 countries. Since it was founded, the works have been exhibited in 34 different cities worldwide; Somerset House starts the latest round of exhibitions. The website, www.prixpictet.com, shows the previous exhibitions too. The Disorder photographs are impressive and thought-provoking, the statement by each artist brief and to the point.

But I meant to write about the setting, Somerset House itself - the way the rooms lead into each other ... this makes for a more intimate encounter with the photos, as you come to each new batch (two or three per photographer) fresh, no glimpses of them out of the corner of the eye. 

The East Wing is Victorian, and as you enter you can look over the parapet and see how far down it goes! King's College has an exhibition space way down there ... but our concern is with ground level, and here's a selection of doorways within doorways -

The Boro exhibition was held here in 2014. Somehow, it had quite a different atmosphere.

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