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Paris Photo 2019: An Expanding World

Published on , by Zaha Redman

Does reality become diluted? It changes, rather. Transformations in the sphere of photography are continuing apace, and the speciality's benchmark fair mirrors the situation.

Leandro Feal (b. 1986), "Ya la vida cambió" series, 2017, inkjet print on 310 g Baryta... Paris Photo 2019: An Expanding World

Leandro Feal (b. 1986), "Ya la vida cambió" series, 2017, inkjet print on 310 g Baryta paper, 7 x 10 cm (detail).
Courtesy of the artist and Cibrián Gallery

Over the past twenty years, the photography world has undergone a radical turnaround, and while Paris Photo certainly reflects this change, that aspect can sometimes be concealed by the overabundance of works there. The ever-increasing number of festivals, fairs, awards and grants, the boom in the market, the continual emergence of artists and trends all produce a confusion that leaves many a photo lover perplexed. This revolution is not intelligible in a world hypnotised by current happenings, a far cry from the concept of the long-term. The twenty-third edition of Paris Photo will be hosting thousands of visitors and providing a chance to assess the state of photographic practices, as long as the pervading cacophony is neutralised. There are thirty solo shows in 2019, which look set to provide a solid base, as do the shared shows bringing two artists into dialogue. But mixed hangs should not be dismissed: they produce stimulating shocks within a medium that has always cultivated chance and accidents. A Desire for Openness American culture…
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