“Of the forms of photography, or photo-projects that are around today, very few go all the way back to the beginnings of the medium. The portrait survey is one of them. It appeals to that deep desire to gather and collect, to organise and take stock, to assert some kind of order upon a world forever slipping into the past, or into disorder. That is the slightly cold-hearted motivation, but the portrait survey can also be an occasion for much warmer things: empathy, exchange, collaboration, even community. And in between the cold and the warm, are the mystery, the doubt, and the ambiguity that come with every portrait. How does external appearance relate to inner life or character? What is revealed and what remains hidden? Why this photograph and not another? Is this image or person typical, or untypical? So, that deep desire to hold things in place and make something definitive is likely to be inseparable from the fact that such projects are bound to raise more questions than they answer.
Pani Paul and Lola Paprocka have gathered together images of young people they have invited to be photographed at Palm Studios in East London over the last five years. Friends. Friends of friends. Fashion people. Music people. Artists. Skateboarders. A creative scene, in all its emergent and fragile energy. The setting is simple and understated, and so are the photographs. The poses, gestures and expressions are gentle and unforced. The camera seems to welcome and cherish rather than study or objectify. In the studio, the people are separate from an outside world that has clearly shaped them – emotionally, bodily, culturally”.
– David Campany
Photography by Lola & Pani
Curated by Lola & Pani and Alastair McKimm
Introduction by David Campany
Alastair McKimm in conversation with Lola & Pani by William Barnes
Design by Jamie Allan Shaw
Available for purchase now through — palmstudios.co.uk