AboutIntervention Gallery is delighted to launch its 2011 season with the photography group show Continuum, curated by Kerim Aytac and Jeff Vanderpool. Continuum is a response to the challenge of showing work within a distinctive historic space such as Intervention Gallery: a disused chapel in the heart of a cemetery. The building is Grade 1 listed, so no work can be hung from the walls. As exhibited photographers themselves, the curators are familiar with the inherent problem of trying to communicate the meaning of a photographic project in a gallery context. For many photographers, the ideal way to present a project is in book form. The curators sought a way of meeting these combined challenges while also producing a show that engages with the concept of space. Selected artists deal with this subject through a variety of approaches, whether conceptual, documentary or narrative.
The resulting exhibition involves the coordination of a group of slide-shows - both analogue and digital - of differing scales, positions and durations. The slide-show format will synthesise the experience of seeing photography both in print and on walls. This format will also allow photographers to represent their series more closely within a non-print context, whilst also honouring the needs and spirit of Intervention Gallery: a respect for the fragile architecture the gallery inhabits and an emphasis on site-responsive exhibitions. This method of presentation encourages a committed and sustained engagement on the part of the viewer; it complements the work rather than hindering it. Visitors will be able to travel through projects at their own pace and along their own route, as they too become participants in the time-based nature of the exhibition. Some slide-shows will require visitors to be seated individually; others are more communal. The sound of the analogue slide projectors provides a nostalgic soundtrack to the still - yet constantly moving - images on the walls.
The work of participating artist, John Maclean, has been described as asking the viewer âto suspend for a time the too-rapid picking and discarding that we all do in defence against the sheer volume of photographic imagery that we see' [Francis Hodgson - Financial Times]. For Continuum, Maclean shows work from his ongoing âCity' project which he describes as âA city built on the foundations of an inherently surreal medium that can't help but veil, dislocate, displace and abstract'. Confusing, yet enigmatic in their fragmentations, his images decontextualise the elements of the urban landscape we ignore. Internationally exhibited Gabriel Benaim's work explores similar themes. Showing photographs from his âTel Aviv at 100' series, the artist describes his work as an âact of framing [that] transposes a commonplace object into a work of art'. Made with a large-format camera and shot in black and white, these beautifully precise compositions encompass the act of encountering a city anew, daily, while searching for its soul.
This project is one of the new Emerge âArts Activists Commissions', supported by Arts Council England, Brent Council and The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Arts Grants Scheme in partnership with Artquest. Thanks to the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery and the General Cemetery Company for their ongoing support. Slides produced by Isis Professional Photographic Lab.