As I was searching for ten of the best photography projects from 2022, I was struck by how the following series all challenge the culture of instant gratification, individual praise and mass of visual content that we have become so familiar with. These are projects that are testament to the value of time, of reflection, of study, and of collaboration.
New books by Mohamed Bourouissa and Nigel Shafran both feature work made many years ago, yet manage to avoid nostalgia. There are striking similarities in the way photographers Hannah Lister, Kaitlin Maxwell and Sackitey Tesa Mate-Kodjo, all use photography to engage with their everyday experience, despite living and working in different continents. Thaddé Comar and Philip Montgomery’s unflinching approach to documenting significant global events encourages viewers to reflect on their importance, whether lensing the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests or the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Renell Medrano and Clifford Prince King both centre their work in domestic space to examine notions of biography, community, and performance, while Jack Davison’s debut exhibition explored the material potential inherent in photography.
Périphérique by Mohamed Bourouissa
Published by Loose Joints, Périphérique, was the standout photo book of 2022, as proved by recently being awarded the Paris Photo—Aperture Book of the Year prize. It is certainly an outstanding body of work, originally made during 2005-2008, during which time Bourouissa employed a constructed scene approach in an attempt to “give a place in French history to individuals usually neglected and overlooked in contemporary society.” Those new to Bourouissa’s work should look beyond this publication to discover how the artist uses photography, moving image, sound and installation. His 2021 exhibition Hara!!!!!!hAaaRAAAAA!!!!!!hHAaA!!! held at Goldsmiths CCA is a good place to start, featuring an extensive selection of his work such as Horse Day (2014-15), a two-channel video installation documenting horse riders at urban stables in North Philadelphia.