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Nicolas Laborie in conversation with Anna McNay


Nicolas Laborie in conversation with Anna McNay

GX Gallery, 43 Denmark Hill, SE5 8RS

Saturday 28 January, 3pm


To coinicide with the launch of his book, Tin Tribes in the Garden of Ether, and the exhibition of the same name at GX Gallery, photographer Nicolas Laborie will be in conversation with art writer Anna McNay to discuss some of the ideas behind the project and his wet plate collodion process.

Extract from the in conversation between Nicolas and Anna in the book: 

AMc: Tin Tribes in the Garden of Ether brings together photographs you have taken over the past two years, presenting various different subcultures, for which style and fashion play an important role. How did you select the subcultures you wanted to include in the project?

NL: In the course of this project, I had the chance to spend time with other creatives and understand more about the different subcultures they all inhabit. In each, I found something that I connected with. The first series I did was the Sapeurs and they are very important to me. I grew up in a very diverse commune in the southern suburbs of Paris, inhabited mainly by Africans and Arabs. I saw my photographs of the Sapeurs and the African queens as an homage to the people I met along the way and admire.

Many of the subcultures I selected were already part of my upbringing. As a teenager, I was very into rock’n’roll, and I spent my younger years in Paris at concerts, wearing leather jackets and tight, ripped jeans, with greased hair. Others, like the Lolita and the chavs, came out of curiosity – I just wanted to know more about them. I think, perhaps, it was the chavs I was most curious about. I invited them to the Garden of Ether as I saw them as an antidote to all the other subcultures and because they are very much a part of the social landscape nowadays. They turned up with a hangover and a bit of attitude, which created blurs and darkness on the plates, making them quite interesting.