Foam Talent: Re-examining Convention

Foam Talent: Re-examining Convention

More than 500 million people log onto Instagram on a daily basis, positioning the platform as, arguably, the most popular gallery in the world. The inescapable escalation of the creation, interaction and circulation of images, and consequentially the development of the multi-facilitated, ever-changing medium of photography is highlighted by Foam Talent as 20 international artists, selected from 1790 submissions from 75 different countries, unite to present the next chapter of photographic innovation.

Pinpointing new trends and refreshed approaches in this new age of photography, emerging image-makers investigate socio-political themes, personal to both their own lives but also pertinent to global audiences. Parisian Vasantha Yogananthan (b. 1985) creates a pastel-laced homage Hindu deity Rama with A Myth of Two Souls (2016-2020), a visual narrative which documents the artist’s 3500 mile journey across India, staggered across four years. By presenting a sample of Yogananthan’s continued exploration, the boundaries of this series are currently unknown. Currently, the photographer’s journey is influenced by the culturally bound rituals and activities of the Indian communities, questioning the origins of story-telling and topographical construction.

Similarly, Guinean-Swiss artist Namsa Leuba (b. 1982) explores the complexity of her dual identity within NGL (2015), drawing on the stylistic conventions of brightly lit, studio fashion photography. A mixture of conventional, structured portraits of youthful, black men and women are interjected with vivid, primary colours and bold Nigerian prints, transforming further studies into uncanny, hyper-real investigations of the self, heritage and appearance.

Also featured are the minimalist landscapes of New York-based creative Mark Dorf (b. 1988). The Path series (2012) connects the sublimity of nature with the broadening dominance of digital technology, noting society’s inability to switch-off and embrace the rural. Untitled34 (2012) depicts a mountainous scene which has been superimposed with a square of manipulated landscape. Acting as a before and after snapshot, the image highlights an innate desire to capture and further enhance photographs through the use of digital filters. Dorf expresses how subject matter alone is no longer viewed as attractive enough, positioning the medium of photography as an increasingly deceptive, idealistic tool.

Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, from 16 May. Find out more here.

1.Namsa Leuba, Damien, from the series NGL, 2015, Art Twenty.