The Early History of Four Corners and Camerawork 1972-1987
Archive Digitisation, Exhibition Design, EVENTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Four Corners Film (London)
Radical Vision is the main archive exhibition launched from Four Corners Film in June 2018, to coincide with the launch of the Digital Archive website. The aim was to explore the two radical 1970s arts collectives in London’s East End.
The huge project began in 2016 with a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund and has worked with 51 volunteers to research, digitise, archive and make oral history recordings. Part of a broader culture of oppositional politics in 1970s Britain, Four Corners and Camerawork championed filmmaking and photography as tools for social engagement and change.
Working on this ambitious exhibition design, we disclosed the history of both organisations, but at the same time we tried to illustrate the range of themes involved in them: Community, Feminism and Oppositional Politics. In presenting the various items (photographs, posters, letters, flyers, magazines, oral histories, videos) we decided to forgoing a conventional hang—with the same spirit of protest of the ‘70 exhibitions—in favour of a collaging of images across the gallery walls. A dramatic full-wall montage featured images of protest was designed in homage to the photomontage techniques of early Camerawork photographers.
Catalogue & Posters
To remark the spirit of the exhibition, we decided to design a catalogue based on the early Camerawork Magazine—the leitmotiv of the entire archive—and to keep alive the message of it.
I designed six different covers, each containing a portrait of the early members (both Four Corners and Camerawork). Some of them were present at the Private View, and they responded in a very positive way to this choice. A 50 x 70 cm posters have been printed with the same images.
Digital archive website
About one year after the start of digitisation process, we reached an archive containing 3000+ items in nine different formats and from three collection. Then, Four Corners asked On-Idle Media Agency to create a responsive website who could reflects the concept of the archive, with a dedicated search section. This has been designed with a focus on the use of multiple filters (themes, keyword and format) as a way to introduce and explore the archive.
This exhibition was part of Four Corners Archive Project, made possible by a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
© Four Corners 2018