Alex Webb co-founded ‘Fourteen-Nineteen’ with Lewis Chaplin. They began posting work of the young photographers they admired online. This has now expanded into publishing as well as exhibiting at ‘PICK ME UP’ amongst other shows. Despite all this Webb is a photographer in his own right. Dazed Digital catches up with him to hear a bit about his personal work, which is as fresh and inspiring as the work he sources.
I think every photographer has been influenced by America, not only by its wealth of photographic history, but as a place to be photographed in an abundance of contexts
Dazed Digital: Finding beauty in the ordinary or mundane is something that more and more photographers seem to be drawn to, why do you think this is?
Alex Webb: The role of the photographer is to illuminate and illustrate and often this is through observing or constructing that which is not always seen and truly taken in. I don't necessarily agree that photographers find beauty in the ordinary; rather they give it a new context or meaning.
DD: Where does your interest lie at the moment?
Alex Webb: At the moment I find myself fascinated by space and the politics of it - how it is controlled and monitored.
DD: USA seems to come up quite a bit, how has it inspired you and what did you get up to there?
Alex Webb: I think every photographer has been influenced by America, not only by its wealth of photographic history, but as a place to be photographed in an abundance of contexts. America remains interesting I think not only because it's a relatively young country but also the landscape varies so wildly. That twinned with the vast amount of galleries and institutions displaying photography which are producing fascinating work probably summarises why I’m so drawn to it.
DD: What was the idea behind the pixelated photographs of American football?
Alex Webb: They were originally screen-shots taken from illegal online streams. I re-photographed them digitally a number of times as I was interested in how little information actually needed to be visible for you to still recognise the subject-matter. Often these broadcasts are of such a low-quality you can only decipher a very minimal amount of information and my interest lay in what that threshold of recognition is.
DD: New plans/projects?/ What are you working on?
Alex Webb: Of late I've been more geared towards other artists work than my own. I co-run an independent publisher, fourteen-nineteen. Our latest book due to be launched in New York City next month, is by New York-native Sean Vegezzi. He photographs the subway tunnels and abandoned spaces of the city and the book will be our largest print run to date (1,000 copies).