Mulhearn, Richard, Devlin, Liam, Beldea, Alexandru-Mircea, Sailor, Layla, Eyre, Sarah, Higginbottom, Richard and Kurtis, Seba (2017) Discursive Documents. [Show/Exhibition]

Discursive Documents, curated by Dr Liam Devlin.
The exhibition was the final show in the Rotor series that exploresd the photograph’s potential to prompt debate. Curator Dr Liam Devlin proposed that the social agency of photographic practices – the photograph’s capacity to provide an autonomous view of the world – lies within maintaining a ‘productive tension’ created by the photograph acting both as a document (of events or moments), while also operating as an image in itself; an aesthetic object to be interpreted.
Devlin paired artists and photographers whose work can be linked thematically. Seba Kurtis’s seductive and fragile images from Calais are set in relation to Alex Beldea’s portraits and appropriated images from refugees fleeing the conflict in the Middle East. The everyday assumptions that we bring to photographs when we ‘read’ or try to understand them are challenged by both Richard Mulhearn and Richard Higginbottom’s deliberately ambiguous images. Mulhearn’s images celebrate those moments when we subconsciously slip out of the conventional behaviour expected of us; while Higginbottom’s work is a response to cultural theorist Michel De Certeau’s exploration of the complexity of the modern city, which he described as a “swarming mass of innumerable singularities” (de Certeau 1984: 97). Finally, Layla Sailor and Sarah Eyre’s work uses collages and gifs to disrupt the flow of clichéd images of female bodies, and to explore the boundaries between objects and bodies.

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Exhibition Review
Photomonitor - Exhibition Reviews, Reviews - Discursive Documents.pdf
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