“Mark Neville has re-imagined what documentary photography could be, should be. Instead of the bland ‘deconstructions’ that pass so lazily as ‘critical’ in contemporary art, he makes extraordinary pictures and finds extraordinary ways to get them back to those he has photographed.”
Mark Neville works at the intersection of art and documentary, investigating the social function of photography. He makes lens-based works which have been realised and disseminated in a large array of contexts, as both still and moving image pieces, slideshows, films, and giveaway books. His work has consistently looked to subvert the traditional role of social documentary practice, seeking to find new ways to empower the position of its subject over that of the author. Often working with closely knit communities, in a collaborative process intended to be of direct, practical benefit to the subject, his photographic projects to date have frequently made the towns he portrays the primary audience for the work. Points of reference for his practice might include the ideas of Henri Lefebvre, or the art works of Martha Rosler, John Berger, or Hans Haacke.