From 13th of September, some of the most important photographers across the globe come together in “Everything was moving”, the Barbican’s new photographic exhibition.
“Everything was moving: photography from the 60’s and 70’s” focuses on a period of time in which the world changed dramatically, marked by post-colonialism and the Cold War. This epoch was a golden age for the photographic world that went onto become a modern art.
The exhibition includes the work of 12 renowned international artists who were working during these two important decades; Bruce Davidson, William Eggleston, David Goldblatt, Graciela Iturbide, Boris Mikhailov or Shomei Tomatsu. This generation of artists were really important for contemporary photography in so far as it was previously considered merely a lower medium.
Over 350 works will be exhibited until the 13th of January at the Barbican Center, some of them rarely seen and others recently discovered. In the latter case, that of the Chinese photographer Li Zhensheng. The exhibition shows a selection of his works, most of them never seen in public before. Zhensheng worked during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, taking photographs in secret and then burying them – around 30.000 negatives – under his floor.
Ernest Cole also lived under similar conditions of extreme repression. The South-African photographer was a good example of the traditional realist photography in this period. He persuaded the Race Classification Board that he wasn’t ‘black’ but ‘coloured’ hence the reason he was allowed to work as a photographer.
The exhibition also includes the work of the conceptual photographer Boris Mikhailov, a collection of radical and hilarious montages. Mikhailov lived and worked in the Kharkov during the Soviet domination of Ukraine. His witty work allowed him to evade the censorship whilst still satirizing about the Soviet regime.
“Everything was moving” also displays the contrast of colour in the photography of the 60’s and 70’s. Raghubir Singh shows vibrant and
heavily coloured pictures from the postcolonial India in stark contrast with the monochromatic work of the Japanese Shomei Tomatsu.
“Everything was moving” is a great way to discover how was the world during this two memorable decades of the 20th Century.
The exhibition will be running until 13th of January 2012.