A pretty self explanatory title, The Photocopy Club is the brainchild of curator and self-published photographer Matt Martin. This innovative new monthly photography exhibition features photocopied images sent by postal submission from all over the globe. Dually based in Brighton and London, the exhibition is designed as a way to take photography away from the pixels of the interweb and reincarnate printed matter back into the the palms of the public. The first show held in December at CREATE studios in Brighton attracted attention from a plethora of creative types and the first London show at BEACH LONDON from 6pm tonight is set to be even more impressive. Wonderland spoke to Martin ahead of the event.
Do you sometimes feel that post-production and digital manipulation has tainted the whole ‘rawness’ of photography and capturing ‘real’ images?
Digital manipulation does not come into my work. I only use Photoshop to do things that I could only do if I was printing by hand. After effects and digital manipulation are mainly used in advertising and high fashion and I don’t think that using it in that medium effects photography as an art form.
The project is an impressive undertaking. What inspired you to start The Photocopy Club?
The project came about because I wanted to make a platform for contemporary photography that was accessible to everyone. Myself and other photographers I know are always making ‘zines and sending each other prints and I wanted this to work on a grander scale so photographers all over the world could get there photography off the blogs and into people’s hands. Photocopying is the cheapest way to get your work printed. I love that people are still excited about going to the printers, covering their envelope in stickers and drawings and posting it around the world.
As a curator and a self published photographer, what or who has been your biggest inspiration?
Tim Barber is definitely a photographer I look up to, not just because of his photography but how after starting Tiny Vices he has become a very respected curator and he puts 100% into everything he does. I interned with him for a short time in 2009 and it would be a dream to get to a similar level as him.
I hope photocopy club can help me expand more in the curating field. Are you an avid subscriber to any ‘zines?
‘Blood Of The Young’ and ‘Hamburger Eyes’ are putting out some great zines at the moment. Also NO FUN press from Canada have just released my new ‘zine from a road trip I did across the states last year called “Goodnight Never land/Thank God I’m forgiven.”
How much of your own work is in the exhibition or is it purely submitted pieces?
Only submitted work. I don’t have any work in the shows. I purely wanted to curate the shows and exhibit other creatives work.
Creatives are submitting work of all sizes from all over the world. What is the selection process for exhibited pieces?
I lay everything out and pick all the photographs that catch my eye. I then curate that down to a body of work that works well together. In the first Brighton show we had over 120 photographers. For London we have over 80 and the space is much smaller.
With such a huge response so quickly, what do you attribute the popularity of the project?
I think it’s just a simple idea. You go to the copy shop, you blow up your photo, put it in a tube and take it to the post office and some guy puts it up in a exhibition and people get to see your work and buy it for less than the price of a pint of beer.
The Photocopy Club runs until 5th February. Entrance is free.
Words: Shane Hawkins