Zed Nelson's A Tale of Two Cities will be exhibited at Dog Eared Gallery as part of a group show entitled 'The Great British Public', 1st June - 24th June 2012.
Embracing the spirit of patriotism with the upcoming Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, this show will present images from photographers working the length and breadth of the British Isles documenting the daily life, work and rituals of the British in their many incarnations.
A focus on street photography will be complimented by intimate documentary studies and portraits from a range of established practitioners including John Angerson, Nick Cunard, Peter Dench, Liz Hingley, Zed Nelson, Martin Parr, Ben Roberts, Simon Roberts, Arnhel de Serra, Chris Steele-Perkins, Ewen Spencer, Homer Sykes and Giulietta Verdon-Roe.
In LOVE ME, Zed Nelson reflects on the cultural and commercial forces that drive a global obsession with youth and beauty.
Over a period of five years Zed Nelson visited eighteen countries across five continents, photographing cosmetic surgeons, beauty queens and bodybuilders alongside everyday teenagers, housewives and businessmen. In this extensive cross-cultural investigation, we see an annual prison beauty contest in a South American penitentiary, Iranians queuing for nose jobs in Tehran and female staff at a Russian nuclear agency competing for the title of‘Miss Atom’.
The project explores a new form of globalisation, where an increasingly narrow Western beauty ideal is being exported around the world like a crude universal brand. Whilst Nelson's subjects appear willing participants in an omnipresent culture of bodily improvement, they might equally be considered hapless victims - at the mercy of larger social forces and locked into an insatiable craving for approval. As the subject’s frailties and pretensions are exposed, so too are we the viewer: our motives for looking, for inspecting, along with uncomfortable reminders of our own vanities and insecurities.
Zed Nelson's 'Hackney - A Tale of Two Cities' and Paolo Wood's 'Radio Days' to be exhibited for the first time at the new Philadelphia Street Gallery, the two exhibitions will run consecutively from 3-31st May 2012 as part of the Bristol Festival of Photography.