This brand new exhibition from Appleson explores the urban tribes of Birmingham, looking specifically at youth culture around the city, with photographs taken outside pubs and clubs, organisations and informal spaces over the span of a year.
Interwoven with the photo portraits Appleson is so well known for are personal objects and social media archives collected from his subjects as a way of examining self-representation, a counterpoint to the tradition of portraiture. The installation reflects the cultural diversity of the city as well as its status as the youngest city in Europe – over half the population are under 35 and 29% are under 25.
Appleson’s work has previously taken him to Mexico City, Cape Town and Kibbutz Hatzerim in Israel, where he sets up makeshift travelling studios on street corners, beaches and public spaces. This new work was commissioned by mac Birmingham and the Library of Birmingham, and selected works will be acquired by the Library after the exhibition is over, providing a permanent snapshot of this moment in the city’s history.
The exhibition incorporates a symposium on The Cult of the Photographer and Culture of Social Media, Saturday 20 June from 11am until 4pm. Entry into the exhibition is free.
Until 5 July
Words: Sally Watson-Jones