Brilliantly bizarre photography in Foam magazine

by Steve Watson in October 2017
Photography

The current issue of Foam magazine is their annual Talent special, showcasing the work of 20 outstanding young artists, selected from an incredible 1,790 submissions.

As you’ll see from the selection of images below, the ones that caught our eye veer towards the strange and unsettling, whether that’s the uncanny digital manipulation of Weronika Gęsicka’s everyday scenes, or the photojournalism of Iranian photographer Sadeh Souri. Printed on a selection of papers, with contextual information on each featured photographer, all held together by their signature exposed binding, it’s a fantastic snapshot of cutting-edge imagery in 2017.

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Viacheslav Poliakov
Ukrainian photographer Viacheslav Poliakov is interested in the “‘unexplored field of accidents’ that makes any place what it is, and where the burden of history manifests itself in the minutiae of daily life.” The Ukraine’s turbulent recent history presents him with plenty of source material, and by placing his images on solid colour backgrounds he removes them from their context and presents them, “as a kind of isolated artefact, something to be studied and categorised apart from what Poliakov regards as the ‘chaos’ that usually envelops it.”

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David de Beyter
Reflecting on David de Beyter’s series Big Bangers, Jörg Colberg recalls the experience of seeing the images alongside video, audio and objects on show in an exhibition. “Photographs of pieces of wrecked cars are presented alongside actual pieces. Photographs of wrecked cars that focus on their sculptural elements find themselves next to actual car wrecks… The goal is to envelop the visitor, who is a viewer as much as a listener and much else.”

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Weronika Gęsicka
The issue’s ultimate honour was handed to Weronika Gęsicka, whose image was chosen for the cover. Her collection Traces is made up of images taken in America between the 1940s and 1960s, but given a particularly 21st century twist. “Using Photoshop, she enters into the image, and seizes upon an element – be it gesture, object or body part – which she will then manipulate, using hundreds of small segments from the same image.”

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Sadegh Souri
Iranian photographer and cinematographer Sadegh Souri focuses on the people struggling to find a way to survive in his home country. In his series Fuel Smuggling, he reveals the illicit trade in diesel and paraffin oil smuggling between Iran and neighbouring Pakistan.

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Namsa Leuba
Born in Switzerland, with a black Guinean mother and a white Swiss father, Namsa Leuba’s photography explores the controversial subject of cultural appropriation. “The images she produces here are not just resolved representations of beautifully stylised bodies but the work of an artist on a quest to understand her own perception of creolisation and to translate its manifestations for the world to see.”

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Martin Errichiello and Filippo Menichetti
On a residency in the Calabria province of Southern Italy, the artists Martin Errichiello and Filippo Menichetti explore the history of civil unrest and mismanagement that has blighted the region. Drawing upon their own photography as well as advertising materials, found documents and archival images, they present a rich and multilayered piece of research and a shared Italian identity.

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Alix Marie
With its fleshy tones and suggestive orifices, Alix Marie’s collages probe the skin as a very personal frontier. “They are fluid entities, prone to eruption, oozing, excrescence. Marie frames the bodily as something that flows from one point to the next, constantly having to reconstitute itself.”

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Harit Srikhao
Thai photographer Harit Srikhao produced his Mt. Meru series in response to the political crisis that gripped his country from 2007 to 2014, prompting an awakening that caused him to question the social norms that he and so many others had long accepted. “The artist adopts the role of adventure photographer, navigating a mystery landscape and revealing its absurdity and hierarchy.”

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