Los Angeles, CA
Poetic, penetrating, and often heartbreaking, Chris Killip’s In Flagrante remains the most important photobook to document the devastating impact of deindustrialization on working-class communities in northern England in the 1970s and 1980s.
Comprising fifty photographs—all drawn from the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum—In Flagrante serves as the foundation of this exhibition, which includes maquettes, contact sheets, and work prints that reveal the artist’s process. Now Then also showcases material from two related projects—Seacoal and Skinningrove—that Killip developed in the 1980s, featured selectively in In Flagrante, and revisited decades later.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether you go or not, Chris Killip: In Flagrante Two, revisits the classic photobook with a beautifully produced, radically updated presentation: each double-page spread features a single image on the right side. Strident in its belief in the primacy and power of the photographic image, In Flagrante Two allows for and embraces ambiguities and contradictions arising from the unadorned narrative sequence, completely devoid of text--forcing viewers to truly look, to witness.
The photographs that Chris Killip (born 1946) took in Northern England between 1973 and 1985 were first published by Secker & Warburg as In Flagrante in 1988, a volume that quickly established itself as the most important 1980s photobook on England and a classic of the genre. Compassionate but unwavering in its gaze, In Flagrante documented industrial Northern England in decline, suffering from the aftershocks of neoliberal economic strategies most brutally embodied in the policies of Margaret Thatcher. "The objective history of England doesn't amount to much if you don't believe in it, and I don't," reflects Killip. "And I don't believe that anyone in these photographs does either, as they face the reality of deindustrialization in a system which regards their lives as disposable."