Underground. The insomniac metropolis, through tunnels, bunkers and silent spaces. An underground city where strangers press together driven by money or desire and masked faces conceal suburban secrets. Forgotten sub-cultures wrestle for identity; some go underground to become invisible, some to reveal a forbidden alter-ego. A solitary walk, echoed footsteps in concrete chambers - architecture not built for humans – away from view or watched from the shadows. Crumbling bunkers – once a token protection from a nightmare are now sinking, eroded by waves. In the underworld of earth or water, avoiding the snares of submerged branches we swim towards the light.
Deep Sleep has wasted no time in exploring the darker recesses of the human condition and we present to you our findings. From its inception photography has attempted to step up to the mark when the need to promulgate truth and opinion has been required. Nonetheless, it is appropriate to remember that whilst Roger Fenton was shooting his iconic photographs in the first media war in the Crimea, the nascent industry of pornographic photographs was at work exchanging wares on the streets of London. Photography fulfills many purposes and all are a reflection of humankind.
Such reflections are often most revealing in the stories of groups, whether those be self-identified ("I'm an East Londoner") or moments in the lives of those commuters on their way to work. We all need to shape our lives as tribes of course, but the need for association of common objects and approaches is even wider. In photography this is the nature of the individual style we recognize in a series of images from a particular photographer. For those of us that are passionate about the interlinking of a series of photographs, a new solution to the puzzle within that individual style has particularly powerful impact as a message.
Deep Sleep has always striven to provide the very best of photography and we think themed issues is one of the very best ways to explore. Themes are merely a loose collection of ideas and we encourage a wide interpretation with the use of a very short description. Nevertheless, we believe in our style and that it makes our message stronger. So here is our carefully curated, but still nebulous, sprit of 'Underground'.
Many thanks to Paula Clemente Vega for her help putting this issue together.