The Approach is pleased to announce the debut of a new moving image work and series of accompanying collages by John Stezaker. This marks the first occasion that Stezaker’s recent work with the moving image is shown in a gallery exhibition.
The film 'Blind' is made up of a vast amount of the artist’s personal collection of film stills rephotographed and projected at 24 images per second. The fast moving arbitrary sequence of historical film stills leave the viewer blind to any comprehensive narrative and spatial continuity, creating an ambiguous status of archive and film simultaneously. All films are collections of images that are apprehended at an ungraspable speed. Only by having an incremental difference between frames is the illusion of spatial continuity normally created. No such relation exists between the frames of ‘Blind’. As a viewer, we are blind to the individual components (frames) of cinema and since we cannot apprehend individual images at this speed, each viewing and repeat viewing rewards a different experience. By going into his archive and mobilising the resources of the whole of cinema history Stezaker creates a spectacle of discontinuity to almost overwhelming effect.
In the viewing room hangs a selection of collage works from the new series ‘Imposter’. Though executed in a different medium, these works are also about the space between images making them close to the experience of ‘Blind’. The series is composed of cut and layered film stills that feature at least one dominant and more ‘intact’ figure engaged in some kind of interaction or exchange with another collaged and therefore fragmented figure. This composite character is cast as the ‘imposter’. Further emphasising the feeling of imposture is the idea that a naturalistic figure is confronting a composite- as if the character is encountered in his duplicity. Through the fragmentation and rejoining of parts a slight scale disparity is often effected suggesting the enlarged heads or diminished bodies of caricature, imbuing the many of the pieces with a comic pathos. Perhaps due to the shifts in scale or the dramatic nature of the images from a new collection of German and Swedish film stills, these figures seem somehow exposed; not quite right for the space in which they are fixed, revealed as the imposters they are.
John Stezaker was born in 1949 in England. Recent solo shows include: John Stezaker: One on One, Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2013); Galerie Gisela Captain, Cologne, Germany (2012); The Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2011) then touring to MUDAM, Luxembourg, and Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, USA (2012); Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York, USA (2011); The Nude and Landscape, curated by Sid Sachs, University of The Arts, Philadelphia, USA (2011); Lost Images, Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago (2010); Tabula Rasa, The Approach, London, UK (2010); Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne (2009); Friedrich Petzel, New York (2009); GAK, Bremen (2009); A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia (2008); Galerie Dennis Kimmerich, Düsseldorf (2008); Masks, The Approach, London (2007); Marriages, Karsten Schubert, London (2007); John Stezaker, The Rubell Family Collection (2007). Recent group shows include: Taj Mahal Travellers, Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm (2009); The Quick and The Dead, Walker Art Gallery, Minneapolis (2009); Source Codes, Sprüth Magers, Berlin (2009); Le sang d’un poète, FRAC des Pays de la Loire (2009); Collage: The Unmonumental Picture, New Museum, New York (2008); Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art, Barbican Art Gallery, London (2008); Past- Forward,176, The Zabludowicz Collection, London (2008).