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The Summer of '20 Zine: Curation Session by Simon King

The Summer of '20 Zine: Curation Session

On Sunday 4th October, 2020, the four of us met in Islington to work on selecting and sequencing photographs for the project we had titled BARDO: The Summer of '20.

During the 7 hour session we worked our way through over 400+ prints which we had produced, just over 90 each. We applied a critical eye over the photographic elements, but also assessed the storytelling value and potential, the semiotic content, and the ways which we could pair and string together the images to create a logical flow.

There were some really difficult decisions to make throughout the day. Plenty of images had sentimental and personal attachments, and we needed to justify these to the others. With 400+ prints to be working at first we all needed to accept that not every single image would make it in, but this did not mean that the majority were bad images at all. Sometimes they said something that had been said already, or stronger in another image. Sometimes they were purely aesthetic with little story pieces to offer. Often we concluded that the photograph was really good, but better suited for a different project.

The criteria we were looking at was "Summer of '20" which is still subjective but which made sense as a reason for dismissal of some of the offerings. By the time we'd started sequencing we were able to look through the reject pile, as images we'd initially discarded suddenly gained merit again.

By the end of the session we had used white-tac to fix our sequence into one of my notebooks, which allowed us to feel the weight of each image when experienced in situation, where page-turn reveals became a factor.

The Summer of '20 Zine: Curation Session by Simon King
The Summer of '20 Zine: Curation Session by Simon King

We decided to include two contact-sheet spreads, along with some written pieces to accompany them. An introduction to the work we placed on the 5th page, after a "cold open" of a very short sequence of images.

We all agreed that the day had been intense, and a strong learning experience for all of us, even those who had previous experience with printmaking and sequencing.

BARDO: Summer of '20 will shortly be entering it's first print run - keep up to date on this, as well as our other projects, at www.newexitgroup.com!

The Summer of '20 Zine: Curation Session by Simon King