Gasket is a photographic collective formed of four Goldsmiths alumni. They have used their experiences on the programme to form a group which has led to various exhibitions, events and workshops around the UK.
Sally Hart talks about her involvement in Gasket
"Goldsmiths approached Gasket to help curate a selection of work of alumni of the Photography and Urban Cultures Masters programme as part of the 50 Years of Sociology celebration. Our past experience with the programme in both a personal and professional capacity meant we were delighted to be a small part of such an auspicious event.
Gasket are a photographic collective who came together in 2012 through a shared love of images and the city. Our experiences with commercial and fine art photography, and the academic environment, led us to believe there was a gap in the work we were seeing exhibited. There were images that were beautiful yet told us nothing of what it was like to interact with a city, and equally we saw work which was fundamentally engaged with the urban experience yet lacked the aesthetic clarity to clearly tell a story. Gasket was formed to find and celebrate images and artists that not only make beautiful, engaging work, but images which also speak to the diverse and complex nature of the urban experience.
Part of this ethos was driven by three of the collective being past and current members of the Photography and Urban Cultures MA (PUC). Graduating in 2011 and 2014, the PUC programme instilled in us not only a strong sociological practice but also the desire to share and engage with the spaces and communities we are working in.
Our work over the last two years has taken the form of exhibitions, events and workshops, and this year we will also be attending our first art fair in Milan. We chose not to have a permanent physical space, instead selecting temporary locations for our exhibitions and events that have some connection to the work or artists that we show. Between the core team of Michael Frank, Johannes Rigal, Sally Hart and Simon Saint, we share the skills required to curate, install, administer and promote all our events and use an online platform to maintain the conversation when not exhibiting.
For the MA PUC show we selected five alumni artists for whom we have great respect and admiration: Nora Alissa, David Kendall, Gesche Würfel, Simon Rowe and Gasket's own Michael Frank. Their work explores many aspects of what we consider to be discourse critical to an understanding of the urban environment. From Würfel's "Go For Gold!" series reflecting upon the impact of the Olympics to Rowe's intimate work in Wandering Still, all the artists are working within a critical practice engaging people and the cities they live in.
Part of Gasket's ethos is to create a dialogue between the academic environment and the wider commercial and fine art sphere. Events like the MA PUC show provide a fantastic opportunity to introduce critical photography to new audiences. We strongly believe that the knowledge and practice we gained during our time at PUC is vital to developing a sustainable model and key to work such as that being exhibited becoming part of the wider debate around critical visual practice and the city."