Room 11: Reinventing the studio

Contemporary Street & Studio II

Jeff Wall’s The Arrest looks at ethnic discrimination in the artist’s home city of Vancouver. The scene of two police officers arresting a Hispanic man has been carefully constructed using actors and cinematic lighting, extending a long tradition of staging documentary imagery outside the studio.

In the Go-Sees, fashion photographer Juergen Teller documented hundreds of young girls who came to the door of his London studio hoping to make it as models. He captured them posing quite literally at the threshold between street and studio. Rineke Dijkstra’s subjects are also adolescents in the process of defining themselves. Her vignettes of young people dancing were made in improvised studios she set up in nightclubs. The teenagers seem awkward and vulnerable as they pose, smoke, dance, and try to look sophisticated.

Rineke Dijkstra The Buzzclub Liverpool, UK / Mysteryworld, Zaandam, NL 1996–7

Reinventing the Studio

Lee To Sang Lee To Sang, To Sang Photo Studio Amsterdam c.1995, printed 2007

Martin Parr and Lee To Sang’s studio photographs remind us how international the language of photography has become. Parr had his picture taken in portrait studios, photobooths and improvised studios across the globe, revealing some of the more bizarre strategies adopted by photographers. To Sang’s studio in a multicultural quarter of Amsterdam invites a local clientele to pose in front of backgrounds that range from the Alps to a Chinese garden. Adrian Paci’s photographs make the narratives of internationalism more explicit by posing émigré families in front of the Albanian homes they have left behind.

Text by Sophie Howarth

Street & Studio Other works in Room 11

Street and Studio; past exhibition at Tate Modern, room guide