Bookshop Event
Thu 19 Mar 2020

Marc Vallee Book Launch & Talk

Due to concerns regarding COVID-19, all events and courses at The Photographers’ Gallery until and including Monday 13 April 2020 are cancelled. Please see our Plan Your Visit page for up-to-date information.


London-based documentary photographer Marc Vallée will be joined in conversation with writer and broadcaster Paul Mason to launch his latest zine Number Thirteen at our Bookshop. The talk will explore Vallée’s practice, desire and the neoliberal city.

“Largely polemic in tone, Marc Vallée’s body of work focuses on the lives of his photographic subjects in their pursuit of desires and passions at odds with cities built for the safe circulation of commodities. Implicated are socially-held views of his subjects as in some way undesirable, as they are pushed away from the eyes of the public. In these works, urban objects become set-pieces in a battle for control over space, with Anti-Skateboarding Devices (2012) and The Graffiti Trucks of Paris (2017) providing the most stark examples of this.

“In Number Thirteen, however, Vallée takes a looser, more autobiographical tone, as the process through which these polemics come together becomes the object of documentation. In this sense, we are left wondering  how the photographic subject, in pursuit of what they desire, already possesses some quality that is desired by the photographer. As the streets of London, Paris and Berlin unfold within each other, we are left with the distilled essence of the collaboration process; layers of personal and collective history made manifest in marks on a page.” (From the text accompanying Number Thirteen by Alexander Clay.)

Marc Vallée is a London-based documentary photographer whose work is focused on contemporary youth culture within the context of the neoliberal city.  Marc’s prints are held in public and private collections including the Museum of London. Tate Britain, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Museum of London and the Martin Parr Foundation hold his zines and photobooks in their collections.

Paul Mason is an award-winning writer, broadcaster, and film-maker. Previously economics editor of Channel 4 News and BBC Newsnight, his books include Clear Bright FuturePostCapitalismWhy It's Kicking Off Everywhere: the New Global RevolutionsLive Working Die Fighting; and Rare Earth: A Novel.

Alexander Clay is motivated by a lifelong curiosity toward the ways in which authority is enacted upon, between and within humans. In 2015, he graduated in Law at Birkbeck College, University of London, with a focus on the role of economic forces in the emerging social and legal entity we call ‘the neoliberal city‘. Detecting a gap in his analysis, Alexander decided to undertake a Masters in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, concentrating his efforts on understanding the place of psychoanalysis in critical social theory. Alexander completed his MA in 2019.

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