Overview participating exhibitions
IN VIVO | the nature of nature
Using a visual language stemming from early photography, Louis Porter shows genetically modified plants and the ownership claims that large companies put on them. The way in which we capture the beauty of nature is historically fundamentally connected to how we define and lay claim to it, both in research and in commerce. Companies like Monsanto and Bayer often receive bad press because they patent (in particular genetically modified) plants, yet a law that makes this possible was already passed in America in 1930. The last part of the title of this series is the same as a patent category of the United States Patent and Trademark Office: New Plants or Processes for Obtaining Them. Based on the illustrations of patented plants from the institution’s public database, Louis Porter made a series of cyanotypes, a photographic process that creates a cyan-blue print. In doing so, he refers to the emergence of the technical representation and classification of fauna: Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions by Anna Atkins was published in 1843, and is widely regarded as the first publication with photographic images.
To Have and Have Not
In 2008, the crisis had just started, Louis Porter came into the possession of the photographic archive of a financial newspaper from the early 1980s. The archive comprised 4000 photos and other sorts of visual material with regard to financial institutions, businessmen and business news. Porter used the images as a starting point for a second series, made in the same places but thirty years later, in a changed financial world. The result is a sampler of “gestures” and motifs that form the heart of the photographic vocabulary in which the world of high finance and international trade is captured.
Louis Porter (United Kingdom, 1977) obtained a Master’s degree in Fine Art at Monash University in Melbourne. Porter’s work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions worldwide. In 2013, one of his eleven books Conflict Resolution received the International Photobook Award at the Photobook Festival Kassel. In that same year, his series The Anatomy of Business was exhibited at the Noorderlicht Festival To Have and Have Not.