As worldwide exchange advances, urban centres increasingly disconnect from their regional environments and begin to share in a global culture of cities. In St. Andrew subway station, an installation of photographs capturing fleeting moments in cities across the globe by Stephen Gill and Stephen Waddell sheds light on the intertwined forces of autonomy and dependence in contemporary urban life. In these back-to-back lectures, the artists each discuss their distinct approach to street photography.
London-based photographer Stephen Gill practices what Martin Parr has Coined “conceptual documentary”: the insistent development of an idea without altering or intervening in the action. Focusing on minute details and seemingly mundane situations, Gill captures the essence of the city with great wit and a dash of irony. Largely self-taught, Gill interned and then worked full-time at Magnum Photos, London, before becoming a freelance photographer in 1997. His photographs appear frequently in major international magazines, including the New York Times Magazine, The Observer, Le Monde and Colors, and his work has been exhibited at the Photographers’ Gallery, London; Photo España, Madrid; Rencontres d’Arles; Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam; The State Centre of Architecture, Moscow and Haus Der Kunst, Munich, among many other venues.
Stephen Waddell’s photographs of street scenes and solitary figures reflect his interest in the figure of the flâneur and his search for the mythical in the everyday. He began his career as a painter and his images contain subtle yet mysterious gestures which reference the pictorial conventions of painting. Without any apparent trace of intrusion, his images offer a voyeuristic glimpse into the lives of anonymous individuals in urban environments. Waddell studied at Simon Fraser University and The University of British Columbia. His work has been recently exhibited at C/O Berlin, Germany; Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver; Schirmer/Mosel Showroom, Munich; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp; the Vancouver Art Gallery; Städtische Kunsthalle Mannheim and Galerie Tanit, Munich. Waddell lives and works in Vancouver and Berlin.