Street View: ‘Above The Fold’ by Noel BowlerStreet View
5th Aug 2021 to 25th Sep 2021
About The Exhibition
Belfast Exposed is proud to present Street View: Above The Fold by artist Noel Bowler.
Above The Fold is the culmination of an ambitious long-term project (2012-2020) from Irish artist Noel Bowler. Using his signature medium format film camera to photograph newspaper newsrooms across Europe, the United States and Asia, his unique project shows us the physical space and the structural layers that have formed the foundation of our modern press.
Made over an eight-year-period and working together with a cross-section of some of the largest newspapers (by paid circulation) from around the world, these photographs take the viewer on a journey through decades of human interaction that has helped to form the foundation of the free press as we know it today. The work of the newspaper and journalism movement has never been so relevant for so many throughout the globe. This timely work continues Bowler's ongoing consideration of the political forces that shape our world and the importance of sustaining the foundation of a free and trustworthy press.
Ever since the rapid increase in literacy rates during the 19th century, newspapers have been inextricably associated with the development of modern society through the production of political meta-narratives, the dissemination of information and the framing of the debate. With declining readership in the 21st century, reduced advertising and persistent questions about "truth" and relevance, the structures of print media are in a state of flux. Unlike the multifaceted and dispersed nature of online news media, the physical spaces of the newspaper office has been shaped by many years of evolution, adaptation and work practices that straddle both public-interest rationales and commercial objectives. This project reinforces the importance that people have played in the role of print news media and acts as a reminder of both the value and relevance of the journalist. These photographs offer us a glimpse into the places where the decisions and policies that affect so many are created. While these places may be separated by geography, culture and politics, they are all inherently linked by one fundamental attribute; the commitment to inform, educate and reinforce the importance of a free and honest press.
"I have been a big fan of Bowlers work since he launched his book Union in Belfast Exposed a few years ago. In this current body of work, Bowler offers rare glimpses into places where newspaper newsroom is devoid of the people who create narratives, mayhem and organised work practices. This exhibition provides behind the scenes photographs that reveal more than just their news stories it give a sense of the reporters who create them.” - Deirdre Robb, Chief Executive, Belfast Exposed
The award-winning 'Street View' provides a multimedia exhibition experience to increase the accessibility and visibility of photography on the streets of Belfast. Street View is a large digital window display, complemented with audio narratives, that showcases contemporary artwork by internationally renowned and local emerging photographers to an external audience on the streets of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.
Belfast Exposed believe photography is for everyone, it is accessible, meaningful and has the ability to tell stories, allowing us to create dialogue and reflect upon our history, inform our present and inspire a positive future. Street View is another opportunity to extend our vision beyond the confines of the gallery.
Noel Bowler is a photographer and educator. Born in Ireland, he holds an MFA in photography from the University of Ulster, Belfast and a BA (Hons) degree in Documentary Photography from the University of Wales, Newport. His work has been exhibited worldwide including New York Photofestival, Dali International Festival, Yunan, China, with recent solo exhibitions in Gallery of Photography, Ireland, Impressions Gallery, England and RPS Gallery, Tokyo. Previous bodies of work include Union – A look at the spaces of organised labour. He was nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize in 2011 and for the Prix Pictet Photography Prize in both 2012 and 2015. His latest book Above The Fold will be published in 2021. Noel’s photographs, exhibitions and publications continue to look at the ongoing consideration of the political forces that shape our world, reflected through the organisation of social space. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of Suffolk.
'Street View: Noel Bowler' at Belfast Exposed is generously supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.