Blindboys Wideyed: the story – part 1

March 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

So, how did we get here?

Shortly after founding Wideyed in February 2008, the organiser of Tees Valley Photography Festival approached us and asked if we would be interested in producing an exhibition of work by Newsha Tavakolian. The festival set up the connection with Newsha, arranging for her to send her work to us, and Wideyed put the physical exhibition together (selecting and sequencing the images to print and frame, flying Newsha over for the opening etc).

Newsha’s exhibition was the first thing Wideyed achieved as a collective, and it seemed an auspicious start. The three of us were keen to develop the experience, but it took a good year for us to work out how…

In August 2009, via Yaohong’s excellent Asian Photography Blog, we discovered Blindboys online and started watching what they were doing. We particularly loved their ‘BlowUp’ guerilla exhibitions, “bringing photography to the streets” from Bangalore to Paris. And then, in November they ‘BlewUp’ Delhi, and at the end of this blog post about it they said, “Can [you] contribute? Of course you can – firstly if you think this is cool – spread the word. If you want to submit or help us print, design and plaster – write to us.”

So that was it. The offer we couldn’t refuse. We didn’t just want to send work though, we wanted to get involved. So what we suggested was a collaboration – we really hoped Blindboys would include work by us in one of their ‘Blow.Up’ street shows, and while Wideyed couldn’t help print and show work in South Asia, in exchange we could show work in England, in our own way.

We have to mostly credit Blindboys for the initial idea though. Would we have contacted them if they hadn’t posted that open invitation? And Yaohong deserves some credit too – at the end of this post about Blindboys’ ‘BlowUp’ shows he asks, “Would you consider doing this in your own country? What kind of obstacles do you think you would encounter? What kind of works do you think would be well-received?” Well, we decided to try and find out.

And finally, we really recommend watching the video below. After seeing that, we just could not resist.

blow.up in Delhi! from lenskap on Vimeo.


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