Graduate Directory 2020: Photography

Focusing their lenses the conveying narratives of our modern existence, our pick of graduates are proving photography can flourish as a form of conceptual art

Gif with a blue background and white text that says 'Photography' and '2020 Graduate Directory' diagonally
(Image credit: TBC)

Corentin Leroux ÉCAL, Switzerland

Two young people lying on a bed in a darkly lit room as another young man stands next to the bed watching them

(Image credit: Corentin Leroux)

Inspired by Ukraine’s political situation, New Dawn Fades questions the West’s fascination with former Soviet Bloc aesthetics. Focusing on image-building ‘for economic, cultural or political purposes’, Leroux examines the fine line between truth and entertainment.

Dream collaborator: Thom Yorke

Jesper Houborg London College of Communication, UK

A group of people in a field wearing white religious clothing during the day

(Image credit: Jesper Houborg)

Houborg’s We Are Still Here is a visual investigation into the zeitgeist of postcolonial Zimbabwe, now emerging from decades of political oppression and financial hardship. His considered documentary images build an empathetic picture of everyday difficulties and hopes.

Dream collaborators: The New Yorker, MoMA

Hugo Yu The School of Visual Arts, USA

A selection of household objects including an egg, tape and a red peg against a yellow background

(Image credit: Hugo Yu)

Yu’s practice seamlessly combines studio works and street photography. While Yu meticulously composes his still lifes himself, his street shots use the world around him to create a dialogue of form and colour, blurring the line between authenticity and fiction.

Dream collaborator: Peter Saville

Alex Colley University of South Wales, UK

An upside down, black and white photo of a man standing on the ground wearing a suit. The photo makes it seem as though the man is standing on the ceiling

(Image credit: Alex Colley)

Drawing on archival material from his parents’ roles as civil servants within the Ministry of Defence, Colley has created a performative series on monotony, stress and detachment. Guy Debord’s Marxist theories are also a point of reference in this curious integration of photography, video and sound.

Dream collaborator: Jack Davison

Eugénie Frerichs The University of Hartford, USA

A person drinking a glass of water

(Image credit: Eugénie Frerichs)

Turning an obsessive eye to the overlooked, Frerichs’ Water Salad imagines a Californian’s daily experience during a severe drought. With visceral depictions of water, we are confronted with wilting vegetables and floods. There’s clarity, and murkiness too, in keeping with the liquid itself.

Dream collaborator: Pina Bausch

David Barreiro The Royal College of Art, UK

A black and white photo of two drills facing each other

(Image credit: David Barreiro)

By subverting the norms of labour in a series of staged photographs, Barreiro’s A Breach of Margins reflects on the ‘tensions between technology and manual work, the performance of masculinity, or the human body as a material in production processes.’

Dream collaborator: Roman Signer

Josje van Stekelenburg Royal Academy of Art (KABK), Netherlands

Close up shot from below of a person's nose and mouth in high definition

(Image credit: Josje van Stekelenburg)

The formative transition into adulthood can be difficult as we move from the comfort of childhood into an unknown, complex future. Van Stekelenburg’s Growing Pains captures this trepidation expressively; she describes the work as a ‘safety blanket’ that reminds her there is no clear path to follow.

Dream collaborator: Susanne Sundfør

Angela Blažanović The Cass, UK

A flower pot, a piece of wood, a piece of plastic and a piece of blue Styrofoam stacked on top of each other on a sheet of paper on an algae covered stone

(Image credit: Angela Blažanović)

Blažanović’s project Fragments of a River reimagines forgotten narratives of objects salvaged from the banks of the River Thames. Rhythmic sculptural arrangements breathe new life into bottles and pipes, while repeated images of the river itself reflect the water’s flow and form.

Dream collaborators: Fischli and Weiss

Justin Carter Nova Scotia College of Art, Canada

A black and white photo of a young girl lounging on the sand

(Image credit: Justin Carter)

With a preference for the book form, Carter produces in-depth sequences such as Camp. Shot intensively over a week, it is an intimate look at the microcosm of a kids’ summer camp. It’s a half-real world of card games in the sand, naps in rubber rings and whispers between friends.

Dream collaborator: Lydia Davis