Sunday, 7 September 2014

And Now It's Dark

This is the first post in a few weeks as things have been busy at the ToE headquarters. Not only have I begun to renovate the secret bunker in which I now live, there was a trip to Ancient Greece a few weeks ago (during which I got to fire arrows at hoplites, which was awesome).

Now I'm back, I have just been to an amazing show at Nottingham's Lakeside Gallery. And Now It's Dark; American night photography profiles the work of several predominantly late 20th century photographers and includes a section of much older images. The work of these artists reveals a very different side to The American Dream. The long-exposure images are often flooded with eerie and sickly light revealing the delapidation of American cities. Black-red pools of blood run down cracked sidewalks, hooded figures hide in corners, and candid, blurred pictures of blurry women with late-night-blurry makeup stare out from the prints. By day the United States is filled with the self confidence and optimism for which it is renowned, by night a very different picture emerges as those who have fallen through the cracks come out to play.


The section of early-to-md 20th century images was amazing - vintage images of cities New York and Boston. Many of the landscapes looked just how I imagine Gotham city to be. Robbed of the technicolor which saturates most of the other rooms, these older photographs emphasize fog, light blooms and the heavy chiroscuro shadows on the faces of those terrified New Yorkers trapped on the subway in the blackout in 1965.

"Now it's dark" is a phrase often used by David Lynch - it is repeatedly uttered by Frank in Blue Velvet and Julee Cruise whispers it into the Twin Peaks soundtrack. This show perfectly captures the real-life nocturnal hinterlands which have clearly inspired Lynch.




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