Who’s Looking at the Family, Now? captures the complexities of family life

11, from the series Big Brother © Louis Quail.

Who’s looking at the family, now? sees 14 contemporary photographers and artists pose fundamental questions about the dynamics and complexities of family life.

25 years on from British curator and author Val Williams’ seminal Who’s looking at the family? which opened at the Barbican in 1994, this new exhibition puts the question into a modern context.

Acclaimed British artists such as David Moore, Trish Morrissey and Léonie Hampton are featured alongside artists on display for the first time in London, including Mexico City-based Mariela Sancari, Thai-born artist Alba Zari, Iranian Amak Mahmoodian and Lebohang Kganye from South Africa.

Just some of the highlights include Louis Quail’s Big Brother, which distils his brother’s daily struggle with schizophrenia into an intimate photographic portrait, and Thom Bridge’s One Ear & Both Eyes, a pair of photographs exhibited so that they cannot be seen simultaneously, restaging the time he and his twin brother had their passports photographs taken, aged fourteen.

Mariela Sancari’s Moises offers a meditation on her father who committed suicide when she and her twin sister were fourteen years old - she advertised in the press for men that would have been the same age and appearance as her father, who then became her models for studio re-enactment.

Meanwhile, Lebohang Kganye’s film Ke sale teng frames an important point: that family photographs are more than just documentation of an event that has occurred, they are also a space for us to project what we can recall, or even to reinvent histories.

"Family is both a great leveller amongst people and as a theme, offers a very rich terrain for intellectual exploration within photographic practice and visual culture today,” says curator Tim Clark. “The artists presented here all demonstrate exciting and inventive approaches to storytelling, offering narrative portals through which we might reflect on the contours of familial experience.”

Who’s looking at the family, now? will show at the London Art Fair 2019 from 16 to 20 January.

Mariela Sancari, Moisés © Mariela Sancari.

Mariela Sancari, Moisés © Mariela Sancari.

Lebohanh Kganye, Ke Sale Teng (animated film, 2017) © Lebohang Kganye.

Lebohanh Kganye, Ke Sale Teng (animated film, 2017) © Lebohang Kganye.

Jonny Briggs, Consuming a Grief That’s Yet to Come (2017) © Jonny Briggs.

Jonny Briggs, Consuming a Grief That’s Yet to Come (2017) © Jonny Briggs.

Thom Bridge, One Ear & Both Eyes (2015) © Thom Bridge.

Thom Bridge, One Ear & Both Eyes (2015) © Thom Bridge.