Using the most controversial murder investigation in Icelandic history, photographer Jack Latham explores the fundamental relationship between photography and truth. This is the first showing of Sugar Paper Theories, which has only been shown previously in Reykjavik. It coincides with the release of a new, updated edition, of Latham’s multi award-winning photobook of the same title.
“The RPS is excited to be showing for the first time in the UK Jack Latham’s Sugar Paper Theories which uses photography and a real-life story to explore fundamental concerns around truth and objectivity which are so relevant in today’s post-truth world” commented Dr Michael Pritchard. RPS Director of Education and Public Affairs.
Forty years ago, two men went missing in southwest Iceland. The facts of their disappearances are scarce, and often mundane. An 18-year-old set off from a nightclub, drunk, on a 10-kilometre walk home in the depths of Icelandic winter. Some months later, a family man failed to return from a meeting with a mysterious stranger. In another time or place, they might have been logged as missing persons and forgotten by all but family and friends. Instead, the Guðmundur and Geirfinnur case became the biggest and most controversial murder investigation in Icelandic history.
For Sugar Paper Theories, photographer, Jack Latham, immersed himself in all aspects of the case, from meeting key protagonists to locating and photographing key sites of the investigation.
Latham’s project brings together original photographs with a range of archival and documentary materials to explore the case. From police files to conspiracy theories, forensic science to the notion of ‘Memory Distrust Syndrome’, Latham’s project plays on issues of certainty and uncertainty, the unreliability of memory, and the power of suggestion.
Sugar Paper Theories has only previously been exhibited at Reykjavík Museum of Photography. The show presented at The Royal Photographic Society is an enlarged version, with new work created especially for this exhibition. www.rps.org/spt
The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) was founded in 1853 and is an international charitable organisation that exists to encourage public appreciation of photography. 2019 marked the start of a new phase in the society’s evolution with the opening of a new photographic centre in Bristol to widen public engagement. The RPS is adjacent to the Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol’s new creative quarter.
Film Screening: Out of Thin Air and Q&A with film director Dylan Howitt. 24 October, 6.30pm
Sugar Paper Theories: Panel Discussion. 16 November, 2.00pm
Meet the Artist: Jack Latham. 7 December. 2.30pm
A new edition of Jack Latham’s Sugar Paper Theories (Herepress, 2019), supported by the Royal Photographic Society will be available at £45. The first edition, published in 2016, was awarded the Bar Tur Photobook Award and was shortlisted for the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation First Photobook prize.
Sugar Paper Theories, An exhibition from Jack Latham
The Royal Photographic Society, RPS House, 337 Paintworks, Bath Road, BRISTOL, BS4 3AR, United Kingdom.
12 October – 22 December 2019
Open: Thursday, 1000-1700; Friday, 1100-1900; Saturday and Sunday 1000-1700
Admission: £5, £3 concession, Under 18s free; students go free on Fridays.
The Royal Photographic Society
RPS House, 337 Paintworks, Bath Road, Bristol, BS4 3AR, United Kingdom
October 12, 2019 to December 22, 2019