Issue 7912 January/February 2023: The Performance Issue


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The Performance Issue

We begin the year with the Performance issue. This edition’s cover image is taken by German photographer Isabelle Wenzel. Trained as an acrobat and professional skateboarder all before the age of 20, it is Wenzel’s own body that we see pictured in much of her work. It is a heightened expression of strength, athleticism and artistry, where she explores the ‘joys of inhabiting this human body’, as she explains to George H King in her interview. 

The issue also explores the performative potential of the photographic medium. Curator Holly Roussell delineates the history of the slide show and projected photography through the 70s and 80s, and the impact this communication made on the evolution of contemporary art in China. Morgan Ashcom speaks about his latest project, Open, a series based on images that were originally taken in Palestine, and corrupted by Israeli police searches. Looking ahead to Carrie Mae Weems’ major retrospective opening this summer at the Barbican, we hear from nine photographers and curators who she profoundly influenced, including Antwaun Sargeant, Jess T Dugan and Zora J Murff. Other main features include special interviews with Rose Marie Cromwell, Alejandro Acín and Jem Southam.

In Intelligence, we ask James Hyman about his latest endeavour, the brand new Centre for British Photography in London. Plus, we are on location in Kyoto with Sean Lotman, and visit the hillside studio of Yan Wang Preston in West Yorkshire. As always, we end the issue with our pick of the best photobooks for the new year.