CO-OP Encounters #10: London Alternative Photography Collective

by Unseen2 September 06 2018

Unseen CO-OP is back for its second edition. Introduced to increase the representation of artist-run initiatives and collectives worldwide, CO-OP encourages artists to present challenging works of art, dynamic presentations and new commercial formats. In the coming months, we’ll be speaking to each of the participating collectives to find out more about the collaborative processes that drive their practice forward.

The London-based collective, London Alternative Photography Collective, consists of 7 artists of different nationalities and works with the many artistic possibilities brought by diverse backgrounds, providing a forum for anyone interested in new photographic methods and alternative photography ideas and processes. In the lead-up to the event, we spoke to Co-Director, Almudena Romero to find out more.

What inspired you to start working as a collective?
When we started to meet back in 2013 we were all very interested in hearing about each other’s projects. We felt like getting to know each other’s initiatives was motivational and inspiring. Producing artwork can be a very isolating activity, and I think we all felt that by attending regular meetings we belonged to a community. The majority of us work with experimental, little-known processes and we would often generously share our research in these meetings. We are now working in a different manner where the focus is more on providing opportunities for our community. We still share tips, but now we also provide opportunities to artists linked to our collective to show and generate engagement with wider audiences.

How has working as a collective changed the way you interact with the art market?
In my case it has had a huge impact. For the last five years, I have developed my practice while not only belonging and contributing to artistic communities through this collective but also through residency and outreach programs. This has fed into my practice and led me to a stage in which I am more interested in the development of my artistic practice inside outreach and public schemes where the individual program of an artist is dispersed, to leave place for collective reflection on the social dimension of artistic practice. As an artist who works frequently in collaborative environments—inside communities of artists and within education and public programming—I am interested in the inclusive public practice of the arts, public access being at the heart of what I do.

What sets you apart from other collectives?
I think every single collective is different, as contexts and interests are diverse. Something lovely about the London Alternative Photography Collective is that we don’t have a fixed number of members; everyone who joins our activities and feels like they belong to our community is part of our community, and we are open and encourage projects and initiatives from our members where they take the lead. This often happens during the London Pinhole festival where various artists will organise exhibitions and promote their practice through the collective.

What do you have in store for us at Unseen Amsterdam 2018?
All works reflect on nature in various different formats, including video, installation, collage, chlorophyll prints and other experimental analogue printing techniques.

Unseen Amsterdam 2018 runs from the 21st to the 23rd of September. Check out our programme, get your tickets now and start planning your perfect Unseen experience.

Image: Untitled (LO-TH-181818181818-1), Constructed Landscapes, 2018 © Dafna Talmor