First, some of the blurb…
In Andmoreagain five young UK-based artists explore the relationship between time and the photographic image. Using a range of techniques, from multiple and time exposures to the creation of composite images and sampled loops, they compress and distill time, stretch it out and reduce it to fragments,. Their nominal subject matter – of familiar, everyday scenes and images – is transformed, becoming at times strange, uncanny, steeped in pathos and nostalgia.
The five are: Simon Cunningham, Idris Khan, Maiko Hatano, Martin Newth, Katy Woods.
Moving in my usual clockwise direction the first I see are Martin Newth‘s large monochrome prints of escalators at Kings Cross underground station. He uses an exposure time of one whole hour so the moving people barely register and the steps of the escalators merge into what looks like a smooth conveyor belt. Its an interesting experiment but there are five of these pictures, different escalators but all look the same. One would suffice.
Next is Maiko Hatano, she has photographed the same scene of a quiet railway station by day and night and combined the two images. Then, and this is the bit I really like, uses computer-controlled back-lighting to make them fade almost imperceptibly between day and night. Clever and I didn’t notice at first. There are two of these, the second is a bike shed which really looks like its being lit by the fluorescent lights in the roof.
Now we have three small video screens, oh, my heart sinks and apparently they are loops which ‘acquire a rhythmic, hypnotic quality’ which we all know is artspeak for ‘boring’. But, no, I’m wrong, these are OK. Simon Cunningham has taken small fragments from films, edited and looped them. The first is 3 short very familiar clips from ‘The Great Escape’ featuring Steve McQueen. The second is a 1 minute loop of what looks like a very old CCTV shot of a city high street with a rotating camera and the third is a blue sky with some clouds where nothing happens at first but then a flock of birds woosh in and out and a jet flies through leaving its jetstream.
Next up are Idris Khan‘s ‘every…’ photographs. Another clever idea but I’m not sure about the resulting pictures. There is ‘every…photograph of my ex-girlfriend in 2003’. All the photos are combined digitally to make a single image. You can just about make out shapes of figures and bulidings amongst the final chaos. There’s also ‘every…photo taken whilst on top of the Empire State Building’ and every picture of the Brown Sisters taken from Nicholas Nixon’s book.
Finally, there’s another small video screen showing ‘Adios, Arrivederci, Au revoir, Auf Wiedersehen’ by Katy Woods. She found a set of holiday slides on the street in Manhattan and made them into a slide show. The images move quite fast, one fades out as another fades in.
At Open Eye until November 26th 2005