You Are Looking at Something That Never Occurred brings together artists who use photography as a tool with which to question the boundaries between past and present, the factual and the fictional. Drawing from the Zabludowicz Collection, works produced over a 40 year period by 14 artists explore photography’s ability to suggest moments that are far from certain.
Artist(s) Lucas Blalock, Anne Collier, Sara Cwynar, Natalie Czech, Andreas Gursky, Elad Lassry, Richard Prince, Thomas Ruff, Cindy Sherman, Erin Shirreff, Wolfgang Tillmans, Sara VanDerBeek, Jeff Wall, Christopher Williams
Venue Zabludowicz Collection, London
Photography Thierry Bal
You Are Looking at Something That Never Occurred maps the transition from the ‘decisive moment’ of street photography to picture making that instead emphasises various types of slowness, including the analysis and appropriation of images, the cinematic staging of situations, and the manipulation of digital files. The exhibition investigates the tensions and overlaps contained within these new approaches: between the re-contextualisation of existing images and the pictorial construction of new ones.
Reflecting the numerous strategies of production and display that co-exist within art photography today, on view are framed prints, wall-sized installations, light boxes and digital videos by significant artists across several generations, including Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Thomas Ruff, Jeff Wall, Anne Collier and Elad Lassry.
The title of the exhibition is taken from a phrase used by Jeff Wall in a conversation with fellow artist Lucas Blalock, published in 2013. Wall advocates for an art that through formal and conceptual experimentation can somehow exceed our everyday reality or ‘social surface’. This exhibition focuses on artists who use our shared photographic language as the basis of such experimentation. Rather than avoiding the commercial images, cultural iconography or personal snapshots that we interact with daily, the instant familiarity of photography is used as source material. Images are reworked in order to provoke feelings of the uncanny or the still unknown, emanating from within the ‘quick history’ of the photographic archive.