'When I was at Art School in the 90s'

London Met will host a talk and Q&A to launch the latest book by photographer and alumnus Marc Vallée, focused on his days as a student.

Date: 05 November 2020

The School of Art, Architecture and Design is delighted to welcome photographer and alumnus Marc Vallée back to the school to celebrate the launch his new Zine, 'When I Was at Art School in the 90s' which features images from his time as a student at was then 'the Cass' in Aldgate. The event, which will be held on 26 November at 7pm, will feature a talk by Marc and artist Jamie Atherton who features in some of the work and wrote the introduction to the book, followed by a Q and A.

Extract from the Foreword by Jamie Atherton to 'When I Was At Art School in the 90s'

Marc was an MA student, a little older and more worldly than us. He carried a skateboard and had met Derek Jarman. He was a flirt, unabashed about his sexuality, which of course informed his horny, boy-crazy work. But that was by no means the entirety of what his camera saw. Revisiting these pictures I realise they’re not just about the erotics of half-naked pasty twinks lounging around (although they certainly are about that), but moreover seem to invite us into an almost spectral realm between the real and unreal, a sort of photographic witching hour.

Marc Vallée is a London-based documentary photographer whose work is focused on contemporary youth culture within the context of the neoliberal city. Marc’s prints are held in public and private collections including the Tate Britain, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and the Museum of London, and the Martin Parr Foundation hold his zines and photobooks in their collections. Marc graduated from The School of Art, Architecture and Design (then known as 'The Cass') with a MA by Project in Art, Design and Visual Culture in 1999 and Fine Art BA in 1997.

Jamie Atherton is an artist working with performance, writing, drawing and video. He is the founder and editor of Failed States, a journal that collates and investigates ideas around place. Jamie is interested in the publishing process’ potential for research, collaboration, assembly and dissemination.

Michael Upton, Head of Academic Portfolio and member of the East End Archive research committee who has organised the talk with Marc, said “We are delighted to be hosting this event. It is always great when our successful alumni return. This is a fascinating project in particular because it focuses on student life from an LGBTQIA+ perspective in our school over 20 years ago. I’m sure the audience will also have questions about Marc’s other high profile projects and zines including Vandals and the City, Documenting Thierry and the Graffiti Trucks of London. We are hoping to get some of the staff who taught Marc to pop back to school too.“

The launch event is open to the public and free to attend. Book here via Eventbrite so you can be sent a link to join.

two topless young men recline on a bed looking towards viewer