Deutsche Börse Photography Prize exhibition – shortlisted for ‘What Happened Great Britain 1970 – 1990’
Robert Frank said, “There is one thing the photograph must contain – the humanity of the moment. This kind of photography is realism. But realism is not enough – there has to be vision, and the two together can make a good photograph.” Chris Killip’s photographs certainly have both. There is a strong sense of composition to even the busiest of images – for example in the ‘True Love Wall’ photograph, where a man faces a brick wall, wind-strewn rubbish swirling around him as if he’s part of the refuse. We can’t see his face but we can feel his quiet despair very strongly.
I’m not sure these photographs fit into a trend but they are certainly part of a great tradition of strong black and white work by photographers such as Paul Strand, Bill Brandt, Walker Evans and August Sander.
Which Image? Which Room?
‘The Boat Repair, Skinningrove, North Yorkshire’. The image is fairly bleak but there is a calm to the picture and the subjects – an air of resignation too. The rowing boat, grounded on dry land is almost a metaphor for the young men going nowhere fast. I would hang this image in my hallway so I could look at it every time I walked by. It is sad and poignant but at the same time aesthetically and compositionally strong.
One question for the Image Maker?
Did you have a political agenda as well as a human one when you shot these images?