Open Eye Gallery is delighted to present specially-commissioned new works by two exciting artists:
Carlos Garaicoa and Lisa Oppenheim. Although distinctly different in approach, their works both contain
themes of memory and change, recreating what was once visible or simply remembering what is now lost.
A series of large-scale photographs by Havana-based artist Carlos Garaicoa explores the changing urban landscape of Liverpool. After decades of inertia and decay, current redevelopment is moving so quickly that buildings vanish and
are replaced, it seems, even before the dust of demolition has settled. During the summer of 2006, Garaicoa made a series of photographs of city-centre locations. On these images he then superimposed buildings (or parts of buildings) that once occupied the sites, or structures that were planned but never realised.
The superimposed forms (taken from archival photographs and architects’ drawings) have been reduced to line drawings using computer design software, and then stitched to the surface of the new photographs using coloured thread. The resulting works invite us to mourn what has been lost or destroyed, but also to reflect upon the social, economic and political shifts that underpin the ongoing transformation of the city.
Lisa Oppenheim’s 16mm film installation takes as its starting point the captions produced by photographer Edward
Chambré Hardman, who operated a studio in Liverpool between 1923 and 1965. Well-known as a portraitist, he also made landscapes and street photographs. His prints and negatives have been stored in the Liverpool Record Office, accompanied by copious notes. Over time, researchers and archivists have added to these notes, expanding the original descriptions of the subjects photographed to construct, almost, a textual equivalent of the image. Working from these captions, travelling through the city, Oppenheim recreated scenes that have changed or no longer exist. The result blurs the boundaries between past and present – as text and images appear on the screen, the words of a life lived confront the shapes, colours and sounds of the immediate present.
Open Eye Gallery, Wood St., Liverpool. September 16th – November 26th 2006