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Past Exhibition

Magnum Home: Just Kids

A London pop-up by Magnum and Plinth brings the subject of youth culture to the fore with an exhibition and live debates

Ferdinando Scianna New York City. USA. 1985. © Ferdinando Scianna | Magnum Photos

As part of Magnum’s 70th celebrations, a London pop-up in collaboration with Plinth and publisher Thames & Hudson will explore youth culture, through an exhibition, installations, and talks and events, as well as the opportunity to purchase limited-edition products by Plinth, incorporating the work of Magnum photographers. With an emphasis on some of Magnum’s most contemporary and intriguing work, The Magnum Home will stage photography in a distinctly domestic environment – a listed Georgian townhouse, opposite the British Museum. Curated by Ekow Eshun, and following the critical acclaim of his project Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity at the Photographers’ Gallery, the exhibition will both span Magnum’s archive and urge the viewer to look at it anew.

Just Kids: Magnum Photographers on Youth Culture will explore how Magnum photographers have documented youth culture in Britain and internationally from the 1960s to the present day. “So much of youth culture is about performing, so much of youth culture is about performance, about being young being against something and also being for something which is your friends your peers and your sort of community,” says Eshun, on his image selection.

David Hurn A retreat for the famous and wealthy. Right on the San Andreas Fault. Among the two million people who visit each year to soak up the sun are college students at ‘Spring Break’. A favourite pastim (...)
David Hurn Palm Springs - a retreat for the famous and wealthy. Their favourite pastime is 'cruising' walking or driving up and down the main street. San Andreas Fault, California, USA. 1991. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
Philip Jones Griffiths Children playing on spare ground where a factory once stood. Middlesbrough, England, GB. 1976. © Philip Jones Griffiths | Magnum Photos
Philip Jones Griffiths Children playing on waste ground. Middlesbrough, England, GB. 1976. © Philip Jones Griffiths | Magnum Photos

"You see the same patterns emerge across time and place in the ways young people agglomerate together"

- Ekow Eshun

“What I find interesting that you can see traditional subcultural groups in Ian Berry’s photos of Skinheads, and you can see them as a self-consciously outsider group, defining themselves again mainstream. But then what I also like is that you see some of those things in a less marginal groups like Martin Parr’s photos of kids from Harrow, and even David Hurn’s photos on Venice Beach on California. You see the same patterns emerge across time and place in the ways young people agglomerate together. Young people dress similarly, but they are also trying to define themselves in relation to each other as opposed to the mainstreams or the adult world. That doesn’t necessarily make for rebellion but it’s about how you find an identity that is yours.”

David Hurn Isle of Wight Festival. A couple sitting together on the edge of a cliff. During the festival a 17-year old boy fell to his death down these cliffs. Isle of Wight, England, GB. 1969. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos

"Room by room you can discover these different worlds and emotional states of young people"

- Ekow Eshun

The setting for the show aims to encourage the discovery of different manifestations of youth culture. ”I didn’t want to do a chronology,” explains Eshun. “Room by room you can discover these different worlds and emotional states of young people, whether that’s the Midlands in the 70s, whether that’s Harrow school in 2010, whether that’s the world of Skinheads in 1980 in London or Brighton or indeed the UKIP cult in Manchester in 2016.”

Michael Christopher Brown From the in-progress youth and electronica series: "Paradiso." Havana, Cuba. April, 2015. © Michael Christopher Brown | Magnum Photos
Michael Christopher Brown From the in-progress youth and electronica series: "Paradiso." Havana, Cuba. August, 2015. © Michael Christopher Brown | Magnum Photos
Michael Christopher Brown From the in-progress youth and electronica series: "Paradiso."

Havana, Cuba. May, 2015. © Michael Christopher Brown | Magnum Photos
Michael Christopher Brown From the in-progress youth and electronica series: "Paradiso."

Havana, Cuba. May, 2015. © Michael Christopher Brown | Magnum Photos

Throughout the building, young designer Yinka Ilori will stage his characteristically vibrant interventions; born of passions for interior design and the bold colours of Nigerian prints and textures, his work has spanned furniture making to full-scale installations: Ilori recently redesigned London’s iconic Africa Centre. In The Magnum Home, Ilori will conceive an ambitious response to ideas of the home as they intersect with those of youth. Rooms such as studies, bedrooms and salons will operate as fully immersive spaces – get in touch with your inner teenager and compose some tortured poetry in the library, slouch at the desk or nap on the sofa. The photographs will serve as a catalyst for, and unifying force between, Ilori’s design and Eshun’s practice.

Chris Steele-Perkins Hand-rolled silk scarf, featuring image by Chris Steele-Perkins. Created by Plinth. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Ferdinando Scianna Resin badge, featuring image by Ferdinando Scianna. Created by Plinth. © Ferdinando Scianna | Magnum Photos
Tote bag by Plinth, featuring the worlds of Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Magnum has collaborated with Plinth to produce a range of unique merchandise, launching alongside The Magnum Home. The range offers an opportunity to engage directly with the work of some of the best photographers in the world; established names like Martin Parr will sit beside those of Magnum’s contemporary photographers on products such a silk scarf printed with the work of Chris Steele-Perkins, a tote bags adorned with one of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s mantras, and resin badges featuring the work of Ferdinando Scianna. As well as this in-house collection, shelves in The Magnum Home will be stocked with monographs, field notebooks, sketchpads and other print materials supplied by Thames and Hudson and reflecting Magnum’s long association with and love for the photobook – including Magnum’s official 70th anniversary publication Magnum Manifesto, a landmark photography publication by editors Clement Cheroux and Clara Bouyeresse demonstrating Magnum’s ability to navigate the points between photography as art object and photography as documentary evidence.

David Hurn Isle of Wight Festival. The local Hell's Angels are always around to add a little colour but rarely any trouble. Isle of Wight, England, GB. 1969. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
David Hurn Isle of Wight Festival. At one point 300 people stripped naked and dashed into the sea. Isle of Wight, England, GB. 1969. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
David Hurn Isle of Wight Festival. A group of Hell's Angels, relegated from their usual role of security, stand lonely aloof from the festival. Isle of Wight, England, GB. 1969. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos

Opening times and events

The Magnum Home will be at 44 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3PA, between May 17th and 21st, and open 11am – 7pm Wednesday to Saturday, and 12pm – 5pm on Sunday.

The exhibition will be free to visit, and incorporate a daily programme of events and talks, including a tile making workshop with Yinka Ilori, Sunday 21st May, 3-5pm.

Re-visions of London
Saturday May 20th, 2 – 5pm

Join us on Saturday afternoon for a Magnum Treasure Hunt across London. Beginning at 44 Great Russell Street, participants will pace the ity to locate and recreate images from Magnum’s archive, from Henri Cartier-Bresson in Trafalgar Square to David Hurn in Soho. All you need is a camera phone; after taking one photo, send it to Plinth to receive the next! The winners will be selected by nominee member of Magnum, Matt Stuart, renowned for his unique take on street photography, and prizes will be awarded to the fastest team, and to those whose photos are judged the best. More details here.

Where’s it at?
Thursday May 18th, 7 – 8 pm

Hunger Magazine’s Lily Silverton will be joined in conversation on London’s youth culture by nominee Magnum member Matt Stuart and political writer Sam Kriss. In addition to working as features director for fashion and photography biannual Hunger, Silverton writes on fashion, art and culture for publications including Refinery29 and CNN Style. Aged 26, and known for his outspoken and elegant commentary on world affairs, Kriss had had his writing published in Politico, The Observer, The Guardian and The New York Times. Matt Stuart has been a nominee of Magnum Photos since 2016, and is known for his irreverent and pointed street photography. Using Ekow Eshun’s Just Kids selection as prompt, the panel will consider what unites youth movements from 80s Tehran to Cuba in 2015; what thread pulls the phenomenon of ‘youth culture’ together; and ultimately, what does it look like here, and today? More details here.

Join us in celebrating Magnum’s 70th anniversary throughout 2017. Bookmark our anniversary hub to find seminal stories, new work, and discover what Magnum events are happening near you.

Ian Berry Skinheads. Brighton, England, GB. 1980. © Ian Berry | Magnum Photos