A key part of the exhibition is night working, the people who labour through the hours of darkness to keep London running. That's why I love this striking portrait, on loan from Tabrizian herself. From her series Border, this staged photograph portrays a real life individual – an Iranian migrant named Gholam. Tabrizian exhibited her portraits with accompanying stories of the people in her photographs. In this case we are told that the man works ‘as a taxi driver, with long night shifts; still hopes to get lucky somewhere along the line. But the harder he works, the less he saves. The longer he stays the more remote seems the prospect of return.’
His stare and solitary environment encourage us to consider his sense of belonging. Who does he encounter working through the night, as a migrant in London, witnessing the lives of others on their way home from work or play in his cab? Is he lonely or content? What must it be like to see the urban night in this way?
I was immediately drawn to 'Somewhere in the Night' and was so excited to see it arrive and installed, where it has even more impact. The Border series inspired Tabrizian to make her first feature film, titled Gholam, which follows the tale of a night time taxi driver. This will be screened by the Barbican as part of their London Nights film season.