The image of Manchester has been accurately represented visually over the years by the likes of local stalwarts Samuel Coulthurst or Kevin Cummins. In times of political and social flux, a rather more acerbic, satirical identity has been required, and Photographer David Dunnico is one of the people to have picked up that baton.
David describes himself as a “sort of” documentary photographer, who has a proper job as well. He lives in Manchester, which is where he takes most of his pictures. These are nearly always part of long-term projects that he says, “start off as one thing and end up being about something else – which is sort of the point of doing them. ” This is reflected in the subject of his exhibitions, which have ranged from advertising hoardings, the rise of CCTV, the cover design of George Orwell’s 1984, self-professed landmark buildings, urban trees and a forthcoming show about flags. But whatever his photographs are about, they usually mix polemics and an obvious love of absurdity.
In this event, David will also be discussing Mark Page's photographic social documentary series Sodley-on-Sea. Based in an imaginary British seaside town, Mark constructs images found online to build dioramas that are photographed before being destroyed. The idea for Sodley-on-Sea follows a long tradition of British documentary photography, from Tony Ray-Jones to Martin Parr, where the photographer has focused on seaside towns to explore the idiosyncrasies of British life.
Mark noted that the seaside has always represented the British notion of escape and yet is a space deeply entrenched in the national psyche and allied with tradition. The work questions how the subject matter has become part of the documentary photographic tradition and raises questions about how representative the work truly is – particularly when almost invariably carried out with a sneer. As such Sodley satirises both notions of Englishness and the entrenched documentary photographic tradition.
Who is it for?
This will be a hugely interesting event and an insightful discussion of relevant, current social issues. This will be popular, book your place now to avoid missing out.
This event starts at 7pm on Tuesday 9 October, and finishes at 8.30pm. Doors open at 6.30pm.
This event will take place at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1EU.
The venue is fully accessible but for more information, click here.
This event is free to attend, but booking is essential; please register via the link below.
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Image credit: Mark Page