...but still

16 January - 9 February 2002

A document, an artefact, a relic, a tangible and personal record of a time past, an aesthetic object - the photographic image takes on a multitude of roles within a society obsessed with recording, documenting and reproducing information. .....but still is a journey of discovery or re-looking, both at the way that we refer to the still and the language or expectation of the moving image. By clearing away a space for stillness, .....but still allows the opportunity to reconsider our relationship to the discourse of photography.

Richard Page’s work of landscapes and taxidermy dioramas challenge the contradiction of the stuffed animals' extended life by juxtaposing their fake motion in death and the movement of the city. The unblinking eye of the animals permanently scrutinises the edges of our own urban life. Photography is well known for its ability to ‘freeze’ movement in a split-second, captured on the photograph’s surface. Taxidermy operates in a similar way, posing the subject in a state of eternal movement. Page uses this artifice in his photographic works to comment on movement through the ‘other.’

Ben Stammers uses photographs of family and friends as a kind of personal anthropology. He has taken the idea of the disposable image and made it a monument to the fleeting. The snapshot that records an unremarkable moment becomes a still marker for the future. In shifting the media from photography to painting he encourages the snapshot to be deconstructed. He allows us to take another look at an image we would ordinarily see on a much smaller scale. These personal pictures allow us to feel the unfamiliarity of seeing somebody else’s family, drawing us in to looking closer. A moment from Ben’s past has become elastic, drawn out, an un-quantifiable action that defies the disposable image.

Helen Clifford,’s charred photographs deal with loss, return and memory. Six years after they were carbonised in a kiln the images on Helen’s photographs have magically re-appeared, literally rising out of the ashes. The nature of the image has, through the process of burning, transformed a personal document into a relic, a testimony to the throwaway moment.

Philip Babot also addresses these notions. In gaze, Babot uses ideas of reflection and contemplation. In being perfectly still, Babot invites us to re-look at a world of constant movement. Sitting motionless his performances draw analogies with the loudness of silence in amongst noise, the lightness of weight and being totally still and calm amongst constant motion: We can either gaze at something or through it. Something becomes Nothing.

....but still allows the viewer to stop and think about the nature of the images, to re-evaluate what has become both the defining point of personal histories and the staple diet for a world of reproduction. Come in, be still, and look.