Andy Warhol - Sleep (screen test), 1963.
Tim Hetherington - From the series ‘Sleeping Soldiers’, 2008. Digital C-prints
Hetherington spent 15 months in Afghanistan between 2007-2008 following the members of a 15-strong platoon of US paratroopers at one of the most remote and dangerous outposts in the war zone. He went on to make the award winning film Restrepo (2010) with the footage that he shot during his year-long engagement with the spaces of war. In repose, the US soldiers seem angelic, contemplative, or vulnerable: in the photographs posted here I see Adonis (Alcantara), foetal (Kelso), corpse (Lizama) and death mask (Richardson). As Michael Fried comments on the 1930s Walker Evans subway photographs were he took pictures of commuters with a hidden camera, “the notion that persons who are unaware of being photographed who at the limit are unaware of being beheld manifest the inner truth of their meaning on their faces.” This way of capturing an inner truth is rare in the history of art. Although there are plenty of individual paintings that depictsleeping men in art I could find no body of work that depicts men sleeping in painting or photography.
Sophie Szilagyi - From the series ‘Water Studies’, 2013. Pigment print on archival rag paper
Sophia Szilagyi is a printmaker who uses digital printmaking to create scenes of re-interpreted memory and experience. In her multi-layered compositions, Sophia explores the relationship between fiction and non-fiction, challenging our perceptions of reality and the effects of physical sensation and emotional response on memory. Sophia’s artistic process begins with an impression of a certain painting, personal photograph or experience. Images from a variety of sources are combined and overlapped so that the general interpretation of her work is a patchwork of real and imagined experiences. Sophia achieves this seamless layering by using digital technology, giving her the freedom to manipulate the imagery to create the desired mood and expression. The completed works are printed on archival rag paper as this highly absorbent surface enhances the softness and dreamlike quality of her imagery. In this current exhibition, Sophia draws her inspiration from the sea and coast, exploring the dualities of intersections between light and dark, earth and ocean. Through her prints, Sophia seeks to capture a sense of wonder, fear, beauty and, sometimes, danger that exists in both nature and the imagination.
Bill Henson - From the series ‘Paris Opera Project’, 1990-91. Type C-photographs
In 1990, Henson was commissioned by the Paris Opera to produce a series of artworks that could be displayed at the Opera. The series features his signature portraiture style of close-up portraits and long distance landscapes. Using Rembrandt’s style and chiaroscuro lighting, which has been a strong influence in his work. The subject matter in this body of work are a contrast between portraiture and nocturnal long distance landscapes. The various pairing of people in this body of work in an apparent grand setting left the viewer to interpret a range of possible meanings. Henson said he wanted to capture “a group of people gathered together in a dark place awaiting some special event”.