John Stezaker is a master of collage, image fragments and stills from films. Appropriating
found photographic imagery, he cuts, masks, rotates and distortes, creating his own unique artworks. He is clearly fascinated by images and the process of interrupting them and has been a trailblazer for collage artists.
Stezaker’s exhibition Film Works at De La Warr Pavilion consisted of three film pieces. Each film was composed of thousands of found images. They had then been interrupted, re-photographed and projected. In Horse, around 3000 photographs of horses were used. Interestingly he takes the still and makes it move or brings it to like creating a reverberating, flickering and flashing strobe-like film. You see a horse at all times in pretty much the same position but incrementally it shifts unsteadying your gaze. Then Crowd shows a shifting scene of a variety of images. This is probably the most disconcerting of the three films with its random selection of images, causing the viewer to flit in and out of scenarios. A bit like running through a huge mansion at lightening speed, seeing only flashes of faces. Cathedral is made up of photographs and postcards of the interiors of cathedrals. Strobing and shifting in a hypnotic way, it is magnified by the enormity of the screens.
Alongside this new work, Stezaker participated in an artist’s talk. He discussed his
methodologies and processes, considering the image more important to him than the concept. Confessionally, Stezaker is not a fan of digital culture and yet his work reeks of it.
Jaunt & Fossick inspired by Stezaker Index at The Crypt Gallery.