Sunday 7 November 2021, 1.30pm
Cafe OTO is thrilled to host the launch of the photographer Guy Bolongaro’s first book, ‘Gravity Begins At Home’, published by Here Press. The book signing is accompanied by a ‘matinée disco’ DJ set by Alexis Taylor.
‘Firstly, I try to stress the importance of home and the family: I feel they are terribly important. And secondly, I try to stress the fact that the theory of gravity is a lot of nonsense.’ – Ivor Cutler, 1959
‘Gravity Begins At Home’ offers a dynamic, unsentimental view of family life: ambiguous, chaotic, unsettling and joyous in equal measure. By capturing the strange and vibrant moments within the daily maelstrom of childcare and child’s play, and in documenting the cyclical patterns of family life, Bolongaro processes his feelings of ambivalence about how we live within the idealised ‘family unit’, attempting to persuade himself that family – or at any rate, his own – can work.
Bolongaro’s photographs appear to support Cutler’s notion – that when it comes to family, everything is up in the air: objects (eggs, daffodils, lit candles) levitate, and children fly as though possessed. Here too are celestial bodies, mirrorings and doublings, games of scale, and collage-like overlappings and abuttings, alongside quieter, homespun scenes of domestic life (hair is brushed, telly watched, laundry folded).
Even if we accept that family is something ‘terribly important’, then the importance is surely far from uncomplicated. So, while there are moments when the way we live together seems to defy the rules of gravity, we should continue to question the confines and strictures of the nuclear family model.
Here Press is a publisher of photography books, based in London. herepress.org
Guy Bolongaro studied sociology before moving to London to become a social worker. Around 2014, burnt out by work and frustrated by his attempts at making documentary films in his spare time, he began taking photographs as a form of ‘daily art therapy,’ making images on his lunch breaks and walks home from work. His photographs have appeared in iD, Noon, The Wire, Wül, American Chordata, GQ, Elephant.
Alexis Taylor is a singer, musician, producer and writer, best known for his work with Hot Chip. He has released 5 solo albums, most recently 'Silence' on Orbistor, and one in collaboration with artists such as David Pajo (Slint, Aerial M), Jennifer Herrema (Royal Trux, Black Bananas) and Brian DeGraw (Gang Gang Dance), which could be played simultaneously with his own ‘Piano’ album. Alexis has also worked at the intersection of improvised music and song, with About Group (Charles Hayward, John Coxon, Pat Thomas, and latterly Susumu Mukai and Rupert Clervaux).
Rob Smoughton is a London based musician, composer and collaborator. Whether fronting the latin-country-boogie band 'Black Peaches' or exploring synth-based AOR as his alter-ego 'Grovesnor', Rob's musical journey has covered everything from South American rhythms, psychedelia, electro, soul and rock. As a long-time live musician with Hot Chip and Scritti Politti he's been a permanent fixture in London's music scene for nearly twenty years.