Issue 40 — Autumn 2004
Not very long ago it seemed that everybody was exercised by Postmodernism. Now we find it has left the room without anyone noticing. David Bate examines the silent departure of our old friend and introduces a new character who he says has slipped into Postmodernism's armchair when we weren't looking.
Before Postmodernism was even a twinkle in anyone's eye Tony Ray Jones was out taking photographs that would eventually appear in his book A Day Off. Ian Walker has been looking at his contact sheets and can now give us the background story to a familiar photograph and some insight into what happened that day in a boat off Beachy Head.
Martin Newth's honeymoon photographs reveal the interiors of sparsely decorated motel rooms. The recurring features of the bedrooms; the framed landscape, bedside lamp and table, provide a semblance of domestic comfort. But the spartan environments have a more functional rationale behind their construction, based on a need to accommodate a regular flow of passing trade. In these images it is the blurred movement of bodies beneath the sheets recorded over an eight hour exposure that hints at this transient community using these motels, honeymooners amongst its numbers.
The Citizens of Spam that have sent unsolicited messages to Brighid Lowe over the last twelve months are presented here in a series of portraits. Taken from magazines the usual facial expressions of personality are here found to be no more than a grotesque grin and googly eyes. Beyond this blank expression all we can still make out are the details of their chosen lifestyles.
Ian Skoyles's work is produced by recombining jigsaws purchased in second hand shops and car boot sales. These hybrid pictures suggest some form of low tech image software governed by the imagery of jigsaws. By recombining elements across geographical and historical boundaries the work subverts the idealised scenes and cultural stereotypes of the original manufacturers. The resulting images could have been dreamed up by 'city of culture' strategists.
— The Editors