Callum Leo Hughes – Miss Read

Callum Leo Hughes

Callum Leo Hughes (b.1991, UK) is a visual artist currently based in Berlin. Working with a combination of his own photography, text and found material, his work explores desires and the malleability of images. Drawing from image archives, on and offline subcultures and queer concerns, his works focuses on atypical printing methods and self-publishing.

Alongside exhibiting artworks, he has showcased his self-published books at several international bookfairs including: Paris Ass Book Fair (Palais de Tokyo, Paris), ASP: Artist Self-Publishers’ Fair (Institute of Contemporary Arts, London) and Friends with Books: Art Book Fair Berlin (Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin). His publications can also be found in bookshops in Berlin, London, New York and Tokyo.
Callum Leo Hughes, Diptychs, Self Published, 2022 © Callum Leo Hughes

Diptychs (2022) is a series of 50 photographic diptychs comprised of self-portraits next to objects, landscapes and abstract images. The work offers a form of visual pathetic fallacy through the interplay of similarities in the images. The self-portraits evoke human attributes in the inanimate objects and landscapes, whilst the form and structure of the inanimate images draw parallels with the bodily positions. The two images mimic each other, reflecting and highlighting the pairs’ symbiotic visual relationships.

The series of 50 diptychs are also presented in a self-published hardback book, with covered design by Lind Haugaard. The publication is A4 landscape format, 102 pages and the first edition of 25 are all numbered and hand signed.

Callum Leo Hughes, COVID-COLLAGES, Self Published, 2021 © Callum Leo Hughes

COVID-COLLAGES presented three series of work made since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting as a need to momentarily escape digital interactions and connect with something physical, the collage series progressed over the course of the pandemic tracking and tracing the artist’s experiences. Organised by queerANarchive, a selection of works from CC.2020, lite / life and You into kissing too? were exhibited at Culture Hub Croatia from 3-6 September as part of Qfest 2021.

COVID-19 reinventions of queers (Text by Tonči Kranjčević Batalić, queerANarchive)

Queer lives are founded on a practice, even a ‘politics,’ of friendship, on the necessity of making contacts, meeting people who could be friends, and slowly building a circle of chosen relationships. Despite the increased presence of social networks and dating applications in queer lives in recent years, these contacts and meetings still happen in pubs, bars, clubs, saunas, and other queer social events, where we mirror ourselves in others and thus find self-affirmation. The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown politics harshly deprived us of fisical contacts and isolated us from our friends and lovers, our extended families. Leaving us only with online communication for keeping up the friendships and relationships, and finding much needed self-affirmation. It is not a surprise that in this situation of forced and intensified online comunication Callum Leo Hughes turns to materiality of collages to find his way in new life circumstances that we have all experienced. Through found images and their new constelations, his collages follow the reinventions of queer identities from the first lockdowns to current reopenings. Thus becoming an important document of contemporary queer lives, our social politics and dating practices.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 56 page A5 self published book of the same name containing images from the three collage series.

Body – Shift – Command
Callum Leo Hughes, Body – Shift – Command, Self Published, 2020 © Callum Leo Hughes

Body – Shift – Command is an ongoing series combining personal and found images captured as screenshots. The work blends images of human forms (Body) with objects, landscapes and abstract images, disrupting both images' original contexts to form new narratives.

21cm x 21cm, perfect bound containing 50 images from the series.