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10 years of The Photocopy Club

From the World December 3, 2021

One of the submissions, shot by Amia Art.

The world of photography can sometimes be a daunting place.

Getting your work printed, finding the space to exhibit it, gallery processes and their vague criteria for acceptance, getting your work judged by others…etc. A process with that many obstacles, explaining why even some renowned photographers have never had their work exhibited to the public.

Although there’s a few people out there trying to destroy these barriers, and that’s exactly what London based photographer Matt Martin has been been doing through The Photocopy Club. Over the years, Matt has been encouraging fellow photographers around the world to shoot by giving them a system to have their work exhibited easily and at almost no cost, contrary to the usual practices.

« The Photocopy club started in 2011. The whole idea was to make an open call that was affordable. Not just to myself but to everyone involved. I had been doing these pop up style exhibitions for a while, but always struggled with finding a way to have lots of photographers involved, without sky high cost. So the idea was to level the playing field. Take away this concept of photography being shown on 4 white walls with a price tag that is unattainable. The concept was to do a call out for photographers to submit their photography, printed using a black and white photocopier, or cheap large format printer. Really to spend no more than £10 on printing. Sign and date the prints on the back and then post them to myself. No theme, no age brackett, no restrictions on where you live. Just shoot, print and post. »

The Photocopy Club exhibition in Berlin, 2014.

After over 30 group and solo shows within the UK and abroad, The Photocopy Club is celebrating their 10th anniversary, and Matt is currently working on something very special for the occasion:

« I haven’t done a photocopy club show in over 2 years now so it;s amazing to have a call out again. No theme, one night only. Like the old days. We have had over 150 photographers submit which is incredible. From all over the world. People judge the post service but I don’t think we have had one missing or delayed submission for this show and works come from every corner of the planet. The space we have is great too. It’s under the railway in shoreditch. Huge space is painted black and white. We are also going to have a live performance from Segej Vutuc who is going to play photocopiers and guitar at the same time and prints out zines from what he is playing. My hope is to cover the space fully. »

We highly encourage you to check out the list of submissions on The photocopy Club’s website, and attend the exhibition on the night of the 9th of December. 6-10pm at 36 Bateman’s Row, Shoreditch. RSVP here.

©Wasted Talent Magazine
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