A new Barbican show explores photography’s enduring fascination with subcultures, with work from Bruce Davidson, Larry Clark and Daido Moriyama.

A new Barbican show explores photography’s enduring fascination with subcultures, with work from Bruce Davidson, Larry Clark and Daido Moriyama.

Photographers have always been drawn to society’s outer fringes. Some of the most powerful images of the last two centuries have been of countercultural communities; from Bruce Davidson’s timeless Brooklyn Gangs series to Alec Soth’s shots of survivalists, hermits and runaways.

This enduring fascination is being celebrated in a new show at London’s Barbican Centre. Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins looks at 20 photographers who have shared the subcultural experience through their work. It includes – among others – projects from Larry Clark, Daido Moriyama, Mary Ellen Mark and Phillippe Chancel.

“Barbican Art Gallery has always championed groundbreaking photography, placing it at the heart of our programme,” explains Jane Alison, Head of Visual Arts at the Centre. “Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins not only continues the Barbican’s commitment to presenting outstanding bodies of work but also demonstrates our desire to address issues that stretch beyond art and help us understand the world from new perspectives.”

The show features over 300 works taken from the early ’50s to the modern day. Themes explored include gender, sexuality, homelessness, poverty, and countercultural rebellion. “[It’s a] show that tells 20 stories by 20 photographers who all approach their subjects with a humanity and empathy that is both empowering and inclusive,” adds Alison.

The exhibition runs until May 27, and is part of the centre’s Art Of Change season.

Untitled, 1982, From the series Rebel’s Paris 1982 Courtesy of Melanie Rio Fluency, France

Untitled, 1982, From the series Rebel’s Paris 1982 Courtesy of Melanie Rio Fluency, France

Anonymous, San Francisco, 2009. From the series Boulevard © Katy Grannan, courtesy the artist and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.

Anonymous, San Francisco, 2009. From the series Boulevard © Katy Grannan, courtesy the artist and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.

From the series La Manzana de Adán (Adam’s Apple), 1983. © Paz Errázuriz / Courtesy of the artist

From the series La Manzana de Adán (Adam’s Apple), 1983. © Paz Errázuriz / Courtesy of the artist

Untitled from Carlo Joh, 1973 Courtesy Fotomuseum Winterthur © Walter Pfeiffer

Untitled from Carlo Joh, 1973 Courtesy Fotomuseum Winterthur © Walter Pfeiffer

Untitled, 1982, From the series Rebel’s Paris 1982 Courtesy of Melanie Rio Fluency, France.

Untitled, 1982, From the series Rebel’s Paris 1982 Courtesy of Melanie Rio Fluency, France.

From the series The Ninety Nine. © Katy Grannan, courtesy the artist and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.

From the series The Ninety Nine. © Katy Grannan, courtesy the artist and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.

Untitled XVI, Stavropol Krai, USSR, 1977. From the series The Enchanted Wanderer, 1977 Courtesy of the artist © Igor Palmin

Untitled XVI, Stavropol Krai, USSR, 1977. From the series The Enchanted Wanderer, 1977 Courtesy of the artist © Igor Palmin

Untitled, 1963, from the series Tulsa, 1962 - 1971. Simon Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and Simon Lee Gallery, London

Untitled, 1963, from the series Tulsa, 1962 – 1971. Simon Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and Simon Lee Gallery, London

Untitled, Arzgir, Stavropol Krai, USSR, 1977 From the series The Disquiet, 1977 Courtesy of the artist © Igor Palmin

Untitled, Arzgir, Stavropol Krai, USSR, 1977 From the series The Disquiet, 1977
Courtesy of the artist © Igor Palmin

Untitled from Carlo Joh, 1973 Courtesy Fotomuseum Winterthur © Walter Pfeiffer

Untitled from Carlo Joh, 1973 Courtesy Fotomuseum Winterthur © Walter Pfeiffer

Pista de Baile del club "Arthur's" (Dance floor of the club "Arthur's"), 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, Switzerland.

Pista de Baile del club “Arthur’s” (Dance floor of the club “Arthur’s”), 2016.
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, Switzerland.

Lillie with her rag doll. Seattle, Washington From the series Streetwise, 1983 © Mary Ellen Mark/ Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery New York

Lillie with her rag doll. Seattle, Washington From the series Streetwise, 1983
© Mary Ellen Mark/
Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery New York

Untitled, 1963, from the series Tulsa, 1962 – 1971. Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and Simon Lee Gallery, London

Untitled, 1963, from the series Tulsa, 1962 – 1971. Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and Simon Lee Gallery, London

Pista de Baile de la discoteca "Eduardo's" (Dance floor of the discotheque "Eduardo's"), 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, Switzerland

Pista de Baile de la discoteca “Eduardo’s” (Dance floor of the discotheque “Eduardo’s”), 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, Switzerland

Sister Akane, at home, laughing. Ikebukuro, Honcho, 1977 From the series Flash Up, 1975 -1979 Collection of Mark Pearson, Zen Foto Gallery

Sister Akane, at home, laughing. Ikebukuro, Honcho, 1977 From the series Flash Up, 1975 -1979
Collection of Mark Pearson, Zen Foto Gallery

Tiny. Seattle, Washington From the series Streetwise, 1983 © Mary Ellen Mark/ Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery New York

Tiny. Seattle, Washington
From the series Streetwise, 1983 © Mary Ellen Mark/
Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery New York

Japan Theatre from the series Japan Photo Theater Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, UK. Courtesy of Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation

Japan Theatre from the series Japan Photo Theater Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, UK. Courtesy of Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation

Medicine is Art, from the series Japan Photo Theater Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, UK. Courtesy of Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation.

Medicine is Art, from the series Japan Photo Theater Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, UK. Courtesy of Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation.

Evelyn, La Palmera, Santiago. From the series La Manzana de Adán (Adam’s Apple), 1983 © Paz Errázuriz / Courtesy of the artist

Evelyn, La Palmera, Santiago. From the series La Manzana de Adán (Adam’s Apple), 1983 © Paz Errázuriz / Courtesy of the artist

Even though there's no sign of any customers... near Ikebukuro, Hikarimachi Ohashi, 1975. From the series Flash Up, 1975 -1979 Collection of Mark Pearson, Zen Foto Gallery

Even though there’s no sign of any customers… near Ikebukuro, Hikarimachi Ohashi, 1975. From the series Flash Up, 1975 -1979
Collection of Mark Pearson, Zen Foto Gallery

Another Kind Of Life: Photography on the margins runs at London’s Barbican Centre until May 27.

Enjoyed this article? Like Huck on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.