Monday, October 1, 2012

Juxtapositions



Visitation, 2006


She (Film Portrait Collage) III, 2008


Mask XXIX, 2006

In September John Stezaker won the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize. I think his work is beautiful and intriguing and this is really just an excuse to revel in it here. And I'm being totally topical (more or less, who cares if I'm out by a month?) which is rare. Stezaker uses found images - vintage postcards, film stills, book illustrations - to create collages that explore our fascination with images and their relation to truth, memory and culture. The results are eery and quiet but strangely lovely.

Stezaker's work proliferates across the internetz. I used to get cross when I saw his collages adrift on Tumblr, uncaptioned and uncredited, amidst carefully choreographed photos of cake, wingtip Oxfords and 1950s Paris but now I wonder if he doesn't find it interesting. There is a collaging impulse behind Tumblr even if it is largely unconsidered and, as far as I can see, he never credits his 'readymades'. He is investigates our relationship with imagery and the internet is the latest evolution in that relationship. I reckon he must be down with it.

Apparently the prize winner's work was being shown at the Photographer's Gallery until Sept 9th so I am definitely not topical but hopefully he will show in London again soon. I'm still sad I missed his show at the Whitechapel Gallery last year - I would love to see his work in person. What are your reactions to it?

Chuck x

2 comments:

  1. Ok well thats all a little weird. I kinda get it when the faces or bodies of 2 completely different people kinda line up, but it changes the image completely, but the sticking landscapes in teh middle is just a little odd!
    Daisy Dayz

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  2. It's an interesting point you make about the crediting and collaging of images. I'm one of those people who really goes for vintage snaps, not just of celebrities or iconic images, but anything I can project my own stories into. It often strikes me how bizarre that is, and specific to a modern culture to take anything we want from anywhere and call it ours- including unknoweable pasts. This is what the photography jars me, personally, to think about x

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