John Stezaker | Collages

Opening event Tuesday October 9, from 5.30pm

Starkwhite, Auckland

Stezaker’s collages pose an elegant but surreal convergence across time and material.  Through repetition, fragmentation, and superimposition, he disrupts existing narratives and instead offers disjointed, dreamlike scenarios.  While the juxtapositions may seem intentionally ambivalent and contradictory, an unlikely narrative emerges.  Landscapes become suggestive of the psyche of the individual or pair of lovers partly obscured beneath.  Images of dark caves, plunging waterfalls, or idyllic vistas allude to the unconscious and suggest a complex emotional landscape underpinning the portraits.  By adjusting, inverting and slicing separate pictures together to create unique new works of art, Stezaker explores the subversive force of found images.  “I resist subordinating the image to any concept of legible use. My aim is to free it, to let it reveal itself from behind the cloak of familiarity” he comments.

Fascinated by the lure of images, Stezaker’s four-decade long career has foreshadowed many of the concerns of our current time.  His collages exaggerate, subvert and challenge received notions of glamour, gender, and celebrity.  His work re-examines relationships to the photographic image: as documentation of truth, purveyor of memory, and symbol of modern culture.  In an era of photoshop, fake news, and image-led social media platforms, we increasingly live in a world more saturated with and controlled by images than ever before.  Stezaker’s collages know this and draw attention to the ways in which images compel their own interpretations scantly mediated by truth, language, or logic.

Text courtesy of Starkwhite.

Image: John Stezaker, Passion II, 2018


Date(s) - 09/10/2018 - 03/11/2018
All Day