D-MAX: A Photographic Exhibition
29 January - 27 February 1988
D-Max is a working group of six black photographers: David A Bailey, Marc Boothe, Gilbert John, Dave Lewis, Zak Ové and Ingrid Pollard. They chose to exhibit together as part of a deliberate strategy to insert photography from the black community into mainstream galleries in Britain, to challenge the traditional notion that black photographers work exclusively within documentary practice, and to contribute to the development of a ‘black aesthetic’ in photography.
The result of their meetings and collaboration since 1985 is this wide-ranging exhibition. Much of the work on show is a response to social and political issues which affect the black community, and reflects the photographers’ wish to challenge unacceptable stereotypes.
David A Bailey, in his Untitled series, juxtaposes serene family album snapshots with the tabloid headlines, questioning the private and public representations of race. Mark Boothe includes a lively series portraying jazz musicians, and photographs with the poems of evil and text. Ingrid Pollard shows a range of documentary and other works including Pastoral Interlude Series I, an image-text work which takes a personal enquiry into racism and sexism into the rural heartland of the British landscape. Gilbert John, in a lyrical colour series, shows portraits of black people in terms of presence and absence, through controlled use of light and shade. Zack Ové deals with issues concerning the black community in his series of portraits and street photographs.
D-MAX: A Photographic Exhibition was a touring exhibition 1987-1988, that was shown at Watershed (Bristol), The Photographers' Gallery (London) and Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff).
Text written by Alexandra Noble
For further information on this and past exhibitions, visit our Archive and Study Room.