200 x 250 mm
Chanarin explores the drive for attention, the complexity of being seen and the anxiety of being overlooked, in photographic encounters across Britain. Oliver Frank Chanarin’s practice has long pushed against the edges of the photographic medium to interrogate dynamics of power and visibility, and challenge the ethics of documentary photography. Following the dissolution of the twenty-year creative partnership Broomberg & Chanarin, the artist’s first solo project returns to an origin point: using the camera and the photographic encounter to speak towards, penetrate, and critique our lived experience. Drawing as much from August Sander as W. G. Sebald, Chanarin’s photographic wanderings and auto-fictional experiments engage with the artist’s subjectivity while querying the slippery terrain of documentary photography. Chanarin often finds himself on the margins — from suburban fetish clubs to accident-faking ambulance chasers, or from amateur dramatics groups in church halls to gender activists protesting in the streets. In a country fragmented by political polarisation, pandemic isolation and the weaponisation of identity politics, Chanarin attempts to reconcile the eccentricity of Britishness with the pressing need for new forms of representation.
Like Chanarin’s previous projects, A Perfect Sentence crisscrosses the line between discipline and chance: organised collaborative photoshoots with institutional partners give way to chance encounters with strangers and friends, missteps and wilful attempts at getting lost in the world, chaos in the darkroom, and self-critical texts. Chanarin refuses the authority of a final image, often choosing to present in-progress darkroom prints that show the processes of correction, redaction and selection, the images refusing to resolve themselves. The Sisyphean and futile task of distilling a country onto the page becomes grist for the mill as Chanarin’s candid images — sometimes uncomfortable and disquieting, elsewhere bucolically British — accrue and coagulate, like thick piled slabs of buttered toast.
About the Artist
Oliver Frank Chanarin (b. 1971, London, UK) is an artist working primarily with photography. His wide ranging practice is characterised by an openness to experimentation and collaboration. His work, though borne out of photography and a critical appropriation of photojournalism, culminates in different media including books, installation, sculpture and photography. Chanarin studied Artificial Intelligence as an undergraduate and held the position of professor of photography at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) in Hamburg (2016-2022). Chanarin is also a founding member of the masters programme in photography at The Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Netherlands. He is one half of the duo Broomberg & Chanarin, whose work is held in major public and private collections including Pompidou, Tate, MoMA, Yale, Stedelijk, Jumex in Mexico DF, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Eye Amsterdam, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Cleveland Museum of Art and Baltimore Museum of Art. Awards include the ICP Infinity Award (2014) for Holy Bible, and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2013) for War Primer 2; the Arles Photo Text Award (2018).
About the Publisher
Loose Joints is an award-winning independent publishing house based in London, UK and Marseille, France, founded by Sarah Piegay Espenon and Lewis Chaplin in 2014. They collaborate with leading and emerging artists on contemporary approaches to photography in book form. Loose Joints circulates new visual perspectives through a dedicated list seeking to elevate underrepresented voices in photographic discourse.