Last night the Media Space opened. There were speeches, champagne, and marmalade-flavoured cocktails. Richard Branson was just leaving as I went in, presumably there to see the 'Virgin Media Studio'. As at the launch event in February Michael Wilson told the story of the protracted genesis of the venue, 'There were times in the past 14 years when I had all but abandoned hope; in the time it has taken to build this gallery I have produced five James Bond films and that's not easy...' Once again Ian Blatchford, the Director of the Science Museum, was fulsome in his gratitude to the 'photography community' for supporting the venue. I spoke to Hannah Redler about the gallery and its remit.
Everyone was enjoying themselves politely. The opening exhibition is Martin Parr early work and Tony Ray-Jones. There are a set of Tony Ray-Jones prints on sale as part of the show and Martin Parr confided that he thought that they were underpriced. Ian Walker, who wrote an essay about Tony Ray-Jones for Source when there was last a show of his work at the Media Museum, said he had been made a professor. The photographer Peter Mitchell talked about the production of his new book (again with Martin Parr's assistance). The Media Space have made a film about the show with curator Greg Hobson talking about the work. It will be reviewed in the January issue of Source.