Year of the Ear by Alexander Coggin

Honourable Mention – Personal

The city is a stressful experience. “It’s too loud, too filled with disease, too much glare bouncing off too many towers,” says Alexander Coggin. “The ways that we bundle and blind and stimulate and soothe and protect ourselves is momentarily most evident at, on and around the ear. In this year of the mask, this tender organ has become overburdened.”

Coggin’s series, Year of the Ear, explores how our ears have become unexpected victims of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in the wearing of masks. To create the project, he photographed more than 100 different people in central and east London.

“Trained in worlds of theatre, I’m continually making images that ­celebrate the performativity of life. By studying these costume choices, can I extrapolate theories on [someone’s] occupation, their values? It’s always theatre, and this work feels elemental to larger inquiries of my practice around adornment and character armour.”

Agency: Making Pictures