THE WORLD IN LONDON

The World in London is a major public art project initiated by The Photographers’ Gallery, to coincide with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The project set out to commission 204 photographic portraits of 204 Londoners, each originating from one of the nations competing at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Art Exhibition previously on at The Photographers' Gallery in United Kingdom.
From Friday 27 July 2012 to Thursday 30 August 2012

Véronique Rolland, Snezana Lukka-Biesek, Russia image Max Hamilton, Laka, Mongolia image Mary McCartney, Lord Paul Swaraj, India  image Dennis Morris, Judith Craig Morency-Nalus & Afrykah-Amaya Morency-Nalus, Haiti image

Published by anonymous on Monday 30 July 2012.
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The portraits will be exhibited as large-scale posters at two sites close to Olympic venues: on the external wall surrounding the BT London Live site in Victoria Park in East London, and across a city-block in Central London covering the façade of the new Park House development in Oxford Street.

The World in London explores portraiture and cultural diversity using photography, one of the most accessible and democratic artistic mediums of our times. The project celebrates London as a place where individuals from all walks of life and all parts of the world live side by side, each of them contributing to make London the unique city it is. Emerging photographers will be shown alongside leading national and international artists, such as Faisal Adu’Allah (took the photograph for Benin), JH Engström (Georgia), Joakim Eskildsen (Czech Republic), LaToya Frazier (Cayman Islands), Toby Glanville (Venezuela), Jim Goldberg (Dominica), Dryden Goodwin (Syria), Tom Hunter (Iceland), Nadav Kander (Lesotho), Karen Knorr (Puerto Rico), Mary McCartney (India), Dennis Morris (Haiti), Anders Petersen (Serbia), Rankin (Niger), Stefan Ruiz (Djibouti), Nigel Shafran (Gabon), Alec Soth (Netherlands), Vanessa Winship (Colombia), Tom Wood (Barbados) and Catherine Yass (Hungary).

Portrait workshops held in the lead-up to The World in London provided training and skills development for participants new to photography. These resulted in ten portraits which will be featured as part of the project.

All of the photographers have been commissioned by The Photographers’ Gallery to take portraits of the sitters over the last three years. The image for Great Britain is a portrait of the late Alexander McQueen, the fashion designer legend who was photographed by American born photographer Andres Serrano in February 2009, a year before his untimely death.

To ensure its legacy, The World in London project, comprising a full set of portrait prints, along with supporting materials in the form of video, oral history and written interviews, will be donated to the Museum of London where it will form a part of the museum’s permanent collection.

Up until December 2012 when the donation will take place, The Photographers’ Gallery will continue its search for the final six sitters from the following Pacific countries: American Samoa, FS Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau.

Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery said: As London’s premier institution for photography, we are proud to have initiated a project that engages with the cultural diversity of London at the same time as celebrating photography as one of the most powerful visual mediums of the 21st century. Commissioning such a variety of photographers has offered us an unrivalled opportunity to highlight the creative potential of the portrait genre. Whether seen through the eyes of a celebrated figure or realized by an emerging talent, these portraits reflect an impressive array of approaches to photographing the human figure.

Andrew Barnett, Director, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, UK said: It is one of the Foundation’s core aims to improve cultural understanding between cultures and through culture. The 204 portrait photographs of this innovative public art project challenge cultural stereotypes and help us to explore the rich diversity of our City, and fits squarely as part of the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

Moira Sinclair, London Executive Director of Arts Council England, said: London has a long history of welcoming the world; creating an environment where new cultures meet and become part of the very fabric of the city. The World in London will tell some of those stories through the powerful medium of photography, and show that many people from different backgrounds can all be united under the title ‘Londoner’. We are proud to support this project in what will be a very special Olympic year and look forward to seeing the works become part of the city landscape.

In addition to the outdoor exhibition, The World in London images will be presented on a dedicated website (www.theworldinlondon.org.uk) offering access to the personal stories behind each portrait. The website will also feature on the BBC and Arts Council England’s experimental arts media service and commissioning programme ‘The Space’. A free schools resource has also been produced.

The World in London is supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and by Arts Council England and is part of the London 2012 Festival, the 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012, which will bring together leading artists from across the world and the UK.

Exhibition: The World in London
Victoria Park Dates: 27 July – 12 August 2012
Park House Dates: 27 July – 30 August 2012
Press View: Wednesday 25 July 2012 at Victoria Park
Admission: Free
Venues: Victoria Park, E3; 453 – 497 Oxford Street, London, W1
Website: theworldinlondon.org.uk. To be launched on 27 July 2012

The Photographers’ Gallery
The Photographers’ Gallery opened in 1971 in Great Newport Street, London, as the UK’s first independent gallery devoted to photography. It was the first public gallery in the country to exhibit many key names in international photography, including Juergen Teller (fashion), Robert Capa (photojournalism), Sebastião Salgado (documentary) and Andreas Gursky (contemporary art). The Gallery has also been instrumental in establishing contemporary British photographers including Martin Parr and Corinne Day. In 2009 the Gallery moved to 16 – 18 Ramillies Street, the first stage in its plan to create a 21st century home for photography. Following an eighteen month long redevelopment project the Gallery reopened to the public on Saturday, 19 May 2012. The success of The Photographers’ Gallery over the past four decades has helped to establish photography as a recognised art form, introducing generations of visitors to important names in photography and championing photography’s place at the heart of visual culture. The Gallery’s Chair of the Board of Trustees is Sir Brian Pomeroy, CBE. www.thephotographersgallery.org.uk

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
The project is supported by the Gulbenkian Foundation under its Cultural Understanding theme. The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is a European charitable foundation established in Portugal in 1956 with cultural, educational, social and scientific interests. Its founder, Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, was an Armenian born near Istanbul. Multicultural and multilingual, and a noted art collector, he spent his career bringing people from different cultures and nationalities together. Based in Lisbon with branches in London and Paris, the Foundation is in a privileged position of being able to address national and transnational issues and to act as an ‘exchange’ for ideas. Thepurpose of the UK Branch, based in London, is to help enrich and connect the experiences of people in the UK and Ireland and secure lasting, beneficial change. One of our core aims is to improve cultural understanding between cultures and through culture. www.gulbenkian.org.uk

Arts Council England
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. It supports a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, it will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £0.85 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.www.artscouncil.org.uk

Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival
The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people. The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, from Midsummers Day on 21 June and running until the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012.The London 2012 Festival will celebrate the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world-class culture including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival. For more details on the programme and to sign up for information visit www.london2012.com/festival

London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Tower Hamlets is the heart of the East End. Rich in history, it presents a vibrant mix of old and new, creating a bustling community unique in culture and character. Taking its name from the Tower of London and the hamlets that surround it, Tower Hamlets covers an area of eight square miles and has a population of around 220,000. It is bounded by the Thames to the south and the boroughs of Newham (east), Hackney (north) and the City of London (west). As one of the six Olympic host boroughs, the council is looking to maximise the benefits that London 2012 will bring to the borough’s residents. Projects include the £11 million High Street 2012 programme which is rejuvenating the thoroughfare that links the city to the Olympic Park. Visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk

BT London Live
BT London Live is a partnership between the Mayor of London, The Royal Parks and The London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and is a key part of the citywide programme of events being organised by the Mayor of London to celebrate the London 2012 Games. Throughout the Games, BT London Live is offering plenty of other opportunities for the public to catch London 2012 sporting action live on big screens and enjoy top flight entertainment for free.

Park House
Park House is a new development on Oxford Street commissioned by Land Securities who are currently Development Managers on behalf of the owners, Park House (Oxford St) Limited. Park House, a mixed use building consisting of retail, office and residential, is the first new major development on Oxford Street for many decades. Park House is proud to be chosen for this prestigious art project as one of two sites where the World in London is being exhibited. We thank the co-operation of Zara, Bershka and Urban Outfitters for giving their support to the exhibition being hosted within their retail units.

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