Storytelling with vernacular photography

Over a period of 10 years Erik Kessels has made many books and exhibitions out of the passion for vernacular and amateur photography. In the lecture “Storytelling with vernacular photography” – December 11, 5.30pm, Tre Oci, Venezia – he will highlight his latest projects and publications and give an insight in collecting and editing the photographs often found online or on flea markets from all over the world. Another subject of the lecture is the role of images in the time we live in and how you can look at these in other ways than simply consuming them.

The last instalment in Erik Kessels’ long running found photography book series, In Almost Every Picture #12, tells the story of a Moroccan wedding filmmaker with a knack for self-promotion. Larbi Laaraichi lives in Fez, where he’s been capturing the happiest days of people’s lives since the early Nineties. While videoing their big days, he also ensures that he gets a shot of himself in action. These images plaster the walls of his shop.
As well as amateur advertisements, these pictures tell the story of Larbi himself. Kessels has ordered the portraits chronologically, hinting at changes in Larbi’s life in almost every picture. We see changes in Larbi’s fashion taste, from the extremes of turn of the century stripy shirts to more demure contemporary clothing. And we see Larbi’s career path through his equipment: proudly wielding an old-school video camera to (a decade later) atop a stepladder with a slick, space-age camera.

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