The Photographers Gallery – “Joanne” Simon Fujiwara

During a trip to London photographic gallery “the photographers gallery” it focused on Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s displaying over 200 major works.

There were different works that caught my attention many works were showing of anger providing a reminder of the wider impact of a generation of artists. 

Simon Fujiwara’s new film Joanne is a portrait of his former art teachers. Joanne had a formative influence on Fujiwara, identifying and nurturing his talents at a crucial point of his development whilst scholarship student at the prestigious harrow school for boys. 

The result of the re-encounter between tge two fifteen years later, and the product of a creative collaboration between them, the work reflects their shard interest in the power of the image and explores the complexities involved in her representation of women.

Some years after his departure, Joanne found herself at the centre of a damaging tabloid scandal after students discovered and circulated topless photographs of her that had been taken privately.

The media campaign that followed played on stereotypes of women to support the sensational headlines, tarnishing her reputation as a teacher and public persona. Five years on, Fujiwara and Joanne embarked on the production of a short film that explores issues Salley faced in the wake of the scandal and aims to present a more complex picture of her.

Where is Fujiwara going with all this? Joanne is a persona under construction, no less a fiction than the titillating topless art teacher described in the media at the time of her resignation. She is a genuine fake, a walking projection.

These visions of Joanne all conspire to present an unassailable mock-up of a person’ … 

The Photographers Gallery – “Joanne” Simon Fujiwara

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