CONNECT: A Curated Group Exhibition of LensCulture Network Photographers
Curated by Aaron Schuman
First and foremost, photography is a medium – a means of communicating observations, conveying experiences, and connecting; both with others, and with the world around us. In an age when there is often concern that digital technologies are in fact distancing us from reality, and disconnecting us from one another, it is remarkable to see precisely how powerful the medium of photography can be in terms of transcending the virtual. Because it is both common and fundamentally dependent upon the real – upon time, light, and physical matter – even at its most experimental, photography allows us a uniquely compelling opportunity to directly engage, empathize, transmit, translate, and reflect upon the multifaceted nature of the human experience, in all of its diversity and complexity.
The sequence and selection of images presented here, chosen from an impressively wide range of submissions made to LensCulture, represents many ways in which we connect – physically, emotionally, genetically, culturally, technologically, spiritually, and otherwise – to one another via the photographic medium. Furthermore, when seen collectively, what is truly remarkable is that these connections are not only made between the subjects themselves as they interact before the camera, or between the photographer and their subject matter as the photograph is made, but are able to reach beyond both the captured moment and photographic act itself, and involve us – the viewer – in deeply effective, profound, and personal ways. Collectively, connect is an attempt to draw together, arrange, organize, and interpret a dynamic profusion of images that – despite their broad subjective, conceptual and aesthetic variations – all successfully strive to connect; to “bind, tie, [and] fasten” us together.
Meet CONNECT Curator, Aaron Schuman
Aaron Schuman is an American artist, writer, editor and curator based in the United Kingdom. His photographic work has been exhibited internationally, and is held in many public and private collections. He is the author of FOLK (NB, 2016), and has contributed texts to a number of books, including Alec Soth: Gathered Leaves (MACK, 2015), Vision Anew (University of California Press, 2015), The Photographer’s Playbook (Aperture, 2014), and Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals (Prestel, 2014), amongst many others.
Schuman regularly contributes to magazine such as Aperture, Frieze, Foam, Hotshoe, TIME, and more. Additionally, Schuman has curated several major exhibitions, including Mixtape (Riga, 2016), In Appropriation (Houston Center for Photography, 2012), Other I: Alec Soth, WassinkLundgren, Viviane Sassen (London, 2011), and Whatever Was Splendid: New American Photographs (FotoFest, 2010). In 2014, Schuman served as Curator of Krakow Photomonth 2014 – entitled Re:Search, the main programme featured major exhibitions by Taryn Simon, Trevor Paglen, Jason Fulford, Clare Strand, Walker Evans & David Campany, Thomas Keenan & Eyal Weizman and others. Schuman is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton and the Arts University Bournemouth, and is the founder and editor of SeeSaw Magazine.
About this Exhibition and the LensCulture Network
What is photography, really, but a means to communicate and connect? Between the photographer and the subject, between the image and the viewer, from a culture far away to wherever we are, between a moment in the past and now.
Earlier this year, we launched the LensCulture Network with the idea of offering talented, accomplished photographers a place to showcase their work on a global stage while also giving them a place to share, learn and engage with one another. The LensCulture Network began with a small number of hand-picked members, and we are very excited to watch it grow and evolve as new photographers apply and are invited to participate as members.*
One major component of the LensCulture Network are its juried member exhibitions. Guest-curated by the world’s leading photography experts, these regular showcases offer a vibrant platform for LensCulture Network members to share their work and view it in new contexts alongside other members’ photographs. Our first theme, “Connect”, was chosen to celebrate the launching of the LensCulture Network. We hope it marks a first step in the development of a dynamic and interconnected community of world-class photographers.
The inaugural show was curated by Aaron Schuman, an accomplished curator, author, editor and photographer. His selection contains 100 images produced by 42 different photographers, capturing moments and stories from many locations across the planet. We hope you find this group of photographs thought-provoking and inspiring, and we hope this is only the beginning of the conversation and connections among photographers — and between photographers and the rest of us — in different cultures around the world.
*If you are an accomplished photographer and would like to be considered for membership in the LensCulture Network, see the LensCulture Network page for details about how to submit your application.