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FreshFacedAndWildEyed
Regine Debatty, 6 Jul 08

While in London i went to see a few photography exhibitions. And yes! i realize i wrote a couple of days ago that i'd focus on the RCA show this week but i can't keep that promise, i'm starting to bore myself. Now one of those photo shows is called freshfacedandwildeyed and it marks the launch of an annual exhibition presenting the most striking work by visual arts graduates from BA and MA courses across the UK. There were 25 photographers selected. Some of them had all my attention:

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Dewars being filled. Cryonics facility, Phoenix, Arizona

Murray Ballard's Cryonics series explores the practice of preserving dead people or animals by freezing them at extremely low temperatures, in the hope that science will be able to revive them in the future. The photographer traveled to a cryonics lab in Phoenix, Arizona, documenting the facility, the technology used, the scientists working there, met with some prospective patients in the UK, etc. All along, questioning whether he was dedicating his time to a world of 'farcical fantasies' or of 'genuine and innovative scientific experimentation.'

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Chinese Opera

Boris Austin's Solidified Memories series aims to balance the glossy surface of China promoted by the Olympics and made of swanky stadium and gorgeous swimming pool with what he saw in the north eastern city of Dalian, China's 'most habitable city'. He discovered a neighbourhood which remains a world away from the much publicized urban regeneration accompanying the Games. Not that we're surprised of that fact....

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Jan Stradtmann commented on the urbanistic consequences of the Olympics of 2012. In The Manor Garden Allotments series, he documents the small garden plots which had to be eliminated in order "regenerate" the site for the 2012 Olympics in London. He took pictures of the 'victims' of the planning of the Olympics as if he'd just arrived on a crime scene. Photographing the huts shortly before their elimination transformed them into symbols of an injustice to come.

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Steve Schofield's portraits of science-fiction costumers in their homes in Britain, investigate how, through a sub-cultural world of fandom, like-minded people establish a fictional existence to escape the everyday.

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Michal Honkys went back to his hometown, Ostrava (Czech Republic) to see what was left of a city which had been pride of the Communist era.

freshfacedandwildeyed 08 runs at The Photographers' Gallery in London through July 6.

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