Stills

1 – 30 Sep 1993

“I began work on the series Stills in 1989 out of an interest in the way language functioned in visual art, as in the case of certain surrealist paintings and their titles. Since then, the series has evolved into a broader exploration of the way language, as one of the more abstracted layers of our reality, relates to the visual. The elements – pieces of text, and colour photographs – are stilled, taken out of time, out of the stream of language and images. There is not decisive literal relationship between text and image, so the naming function of the words is suspended, frustrating the usual determining dominance of language, and allowing a multiplicity of meanings to come into the foreground. A complex interpenetration of words and images is exposed, through which it becomes possible to trace some of the ways, in which we form meaning. This process goes both ways – the artifice of language resonates in concert with symbolically suggestive imagery, and it is due to the linguistically determined nature of our perceptions that we recognize visually symbolic information the way we do. As is the case with the process of articulation that forms speech by repressing and compressing breath, this ‘symbolic’ mode of visual perception is defined by what it excludes. “ This exhibition of colour photographs juxtaposes isolated stilled words with stills of optical reality. The intent of the artist is to explore the relation between language and visual perception. With the isolation of the single word from the context of language, the word can function as an entity in itself and the photographic framing acts to isolate objects or scenes. The result is an emphasis on the symbolic aspect of visual perception.