The wedding WAPLINGTON, Nick & WELSH, Irvine new pictures from the continuing "Living room" series
Loving, sparring, partying, cavorting, drinking, smacking, preening--the boisterous family crowding the canvas of British photographer Nick Waplington's The Wedding has spirit to spare. "The opposite of instant pictures," writes novelist and critic John Berger of Waplington's work, "these photos are as lasting for a lifetime as tattoos, yet all they show is a split second. . . . Life breathes through every one."Over the course of four years, Waplington became intimately acquainted with two large, working-class families residing in a municipal housing estate in Nottingham, England. The resulting book, Living Room (Aperture, 1991), proved the photographer had achieved an entirely unself-conscious relationship with his subjects.Five years later, Waplington is still shooting. He revisits his Nottingham friends in The Wedding, a colorful, lively visual narrative with the mesmerizing flow of a soap opera. Times have changed in one of the living rooms. The kids are older and Mum is on the verge of a new marriage. With the wedding as a centerpiece, Waplington plunges into the midst of a communal group whose upbeat lifestyle seems able to overcome all obstacles.Waplington's vibrant color images and text pulse with a visceral energy that cannot fail to draw us in. Presenting domestic drama at its most immeditately engaging and contemporary photography at its most free-wheeling, Nick Waplington's The Wedding is a singular artistic experience.Working with Waplington, the cuting-edge British writer Irvine Welsh, author of Acid House, contributes an essay illuminating the social and political context for Waplington's work. Waplington also provides a personal introduction chronicling the evolution of the "Living Room" project, his intensely close relationship with his extended family, and the nine years he has spent photographing them.