Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin have been collaborating for over a decade. They have produced six books which in different ways examine the language of documentary photography: Trust (2000) accompanied their first solo-show at The Hasselbad Center; Ghetto (2003) a collection of their work as editors and principal photographers of Colors magazine, was exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum; Mr. Mkhize's Portrait (2004) documented South Africa ten years after apartheid and accompanied a solo show at The Photographers' Gallery; Chicago (2006), an exploration of the militarization of contemporary Israel was published by SteidMACK in conjunction with a solo-show at The Stedelijk Museum; and Fig (2007), by Steidl/PHOTOWORKS, accompanied their solo exhibitions at the John Hansard Gallery and Impressions Gallery, UK. The Red House (2007), produced in the cells below the former Ba'athist Party headquarters in Iraq, is published by Steidl Editions. Broomberg and Chanarin regularly teach workshops and give master classes in photography, as well as lecturing on the MA in Documentary Photography at LCC. They are the recipients of numerous awards, including the Vic Odden Award from the Royal Photographic Society and are trustees of the Photographersí Gallery and Photoworks in the UK.
Broomberg and Chanarin will introduce three projects, including their forthcoming book, made in response to the photography archive at Belfast Exposed in Northern Ireland. The book, to be published by Steidl in Spring 2011, focuses on the layers of marking, scratches and obliterations by successive generations of archivists and the public on the images contained in the collection. The project upsets the indexical nature of the archive. Instead, a fragmented narrative of the period known as the 'Troubles' emerges that resists traditional empirical categorisations and sequences. This will be followed by an introduction to their book Fig, which is concerned with photography and the archive - in this case however the archive under investigation is an apparently imaginary one, constructed from a variety of sources and presented in the form of a cabinet of curiosities that highlights the links between documentary photography practise and colonial expansion. Finally, the artists will present some findings from their investigations into the Egyptian surrealist movement, begun during a residency at the Townhouse in 2010. They hope to share the growing archive of material related to the group and invite members of the audience to contribute with any additional information.