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An exhibition staged jointly between Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.

Exhibition dates: NGCA: 28 Sept - 23 Nov 2013

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens: 19 Oct 2013 - 23 Feb 2014.

Part of 'The Social: Encountering Photography' - a month of photography in Sunderland and North-East England from 18 October - 16 November 2013

Craig Ames, Ulf Aminde, Haley Austin, Natasha Caruana, Nick Crowe & Ian Rawlinson, Melanie Friend, Gilbert & George, Julian Germain, Paul Graham, Chris Harrison, Nigel Henderson, Jeremy Hutchison, Yee I-Lann, Bob Jardine, James O Jenkins, Linder, Melanie Manchot, Daniel Meadows, Gustav Metzger, Tim Mitchell, Martin Parr, Reynold Reynolds, Reynold Reynolds with Patrick Jolley, Simon Roberts, Thiago Rocha Pitta, Daniele Sambo, Jo Spence, John Stezaker, Homer Sykes, Stuart Whipps

'YOU ARE THE COMPANY IN WHICH YOU KEEP' reveals the diverse ways in which photographers and artists using lens-based media have created images that map out our new social networks - observing the patterns of which structure our social existence, or forecasting what the twenty-first century has yet to bring. Many of the artists might be described as working in anthropological or ethnographic ways, observing how our experience of the world is mediated through camera lens, and asking how far photographic images structure our imagination. They ask: in the twenty-first century, are images the means by which we are socialised, and the means by which we can know ourselves? Do the images that we consume and internalise become the imaginative materials that we are made of?

The exhibition spans the two neighbouring venues of Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, with each examining separate aspects of how photographic images now suffuse every aspect of our lives. At NGCA, more than 20 artists investigate how the neoliberal economics and continuing military muscle of so-called post-industrial countries determine how far the modern world is being shaped.

At NGCA we also encounter revisionist views of early bodies of work by now leading figures in the field - including Martin Parr, Nigel Henderson and Paul Graham. Alongside are brand new work by practitioners such as Tim Mitchell, and several major commissions by artists including Stuart Whipps and Craig Ames. At Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, seven artists re-examine the ideas of the portrait and portrait studio, reassessing how we present our own image to the world. The exhibition includes work by radical figures of the recent past such as Jo Spence alongside UK premieres of work by emerging artists such as Natasha Caruana and James O Jenkins, and by international figures such as Yee I-Lann, whose work also features in the exhibition 'Post-Colonial Photo Studio' in the NGCA Project Space.

Burn (Reynold Reynolds/Patrick Jolley)

Thiago Roch Pitt, Youth

Stuart Whipps, Carboniferous Epoch

Tim Mitchell, Clothing Recycled

Simon Roberts from 'We English'

Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson, The Opera