London Calling: Tehran

Calling Project

Curated by John Phillips & Liz O'Sullivan

This portfolio is a response to Tarlan Rafiee and Yashar Samimi Mofakham’s invitation to londonprintstudio to prepare a small exhibition for Tehran. It is frequently said that one picture is worth a thousand words. Yet, in many ways, words and images have no equivalence, and the one can never substitute for the other. Words and images do however share one feature, they both depend on two or more parties sharing a common set of codes and references, and they are therefore both subject to the same dilemma: the presentation of things new, and unknown, is dependant on something already acknowledged and shared. Thus in presenting aspects of London through this portfolio, we hope to draw on the common experience of people in our different cities.

The portfolio’s title: London Calling: Tehran alludes to a song (and album) by the West London Punk Rock band the Clash. The title on the album’s cover is distinctively written in the colours pink and green. These colours were used by Strummer to make the poster, included in the Portfolio, at our studio for the local rock band ‘the 101’s, in which he sang before becoming a superstar, It is, like the portfolio itself, an authentic ‘voice’ from the street.

Each of the images in the portfolio seeks to reveal something particular about our city; its arterial routes; architectural and human breath; the reasons why people seek refuge here; the opulence, power and aspiration; the inequalities and conflicts, the faces of beauty in a population that speaks 300 languages, and our tame ‘wild animals’ that hunt junk food. We hope that collectively these images say more than their 'seventeen thousand word equivalence’.

Artists:Faisal Abdu'Allah, Emma Charles, Adam Dant, Godfried Donkor, David Ferry, RE, Satch Hoyt, Fraser James, Tam Joseph, Roshini Kempadoo, Julia McKenzie, Eileen Perrier, John Phillips, Jamie Reid, Susan Stockwell, Joe Strummer, Mythili Thevendrampillai, Stella Whalley

Supported by The British Council, LPS, Bread & Salt