All is not what it seems

I have been a bit perturbed of late with mud-slinging and ill-considered and rather quick attempts at finger-pointing by politicians. It is as if they have well and truly embraced sound bite culture with little thought for analysis until the post-mortem of the fallout. These same people will hide behind the slowly turning wheels of legislation though when it suits them. All very confusing indeed.

I had to go up to town last week and as it was Thursday, and with spare time on my hands I found my way across the Jubilee foot bridge to the South Bank in a second quest to see what the fuss was about with Gursky.

Embankment grey clouds white buildings and union flags

It was one of those days with omnipotent looking skies that showed off a proliferation of Union flags, more so than on a bright day. I’d love to hawk the large format gear down here and line up with decent weather but the vibrations from footfall would not be too welcome with 1 second exposures!

I never tire of treading over this bridge as there is always something different to see and certain things are almost static, yes St Paul’s, the bridge, OXO tower, brutalist South Bank but that diocese of money is ever changing as is the relentless disposal of waste downstream.

Waste barges being towed down the Thames

Now then, on to Gursky. I’ve only ever seen one in the flesh before – Bahrain Grand Prix circuit, an obviously manipulated image where the cars on the track are insignificant.

Bahrain Gursky

but I saw a documentary whilst at University of the making of Hamm, Bergwerk Ost. There was a huge debate after the showing discussing the merits of doing nothing bar visualising and of course taking responsibility for loading the dark slides.

The image is almost political in that there are many duplicitous aspects to the content and it is not all as it seems. So much so that having enjoyed this gallery immensely and the works in it from Gursky, I left wondering in fact what to believe.

Hamm, Bergwerk Ost, Gursky

All in all I felt a certain camaraderie with Gursky. There is nothing quite like a big photograph and I think I might have have some on the wall larger than his at 11.9 and 8.1 metres wide in the University of Suffolk. Scale is a wonderful thing in image making.

I’d wholeheartedly recommend a visit but be prepared to be told to stand behind the taped lines in front of each image. The newly uniformed gallery police will be on you faster than an East German border guard…

For my practice, I have created manipulated images in the past but the time taken to compose these was immense. Now if I sold a few big images I might be able to employ a whole army of technicians to do the same for me.

In the meantime I’ll stick to removing dust marks and scratches from scanned large format negatives.

Oh, speaking of politicians I saw my ex-MP on the train going home…

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