Sam Taylor-Johnson

Looking Out (2002)

Edition of 200
Hand printed c-type colour photograph
40 x 60 cm (16 x 24 in)
Signed, dated and numbered.

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Perhaps her best-known body of work, the 'Five Revolutionary Seconds' series, uses a panoramic camera to take a full 360° image of an interior during a five second exposure. The works are populated by numerous figures, each of which appear to exist in their own time and space, expressing a range of charged states from melancholy to decadence, to violence and alienation. For Counter Editions Taylor-Wood has produced a new work, Looking Out. Taken in the picture gallery at Althorp House, ancestral home to the Spencers and final resting place of Diana, Princess of Wales, Looking Out features a solitary, contemplative figure, portrayed by the actress Thandie Newton. Taylor-Wood here has also employed her trade mark panoramic camera, but here the image is a 120° pan selected from a full 360° shot. Taylor-Wood typically leaves the narrative unresolved, saying "I wanted someone who was achingly beautiful in a surrounding that was equally achingly beautiful, but for the two to be slightly incongruous."

Sam Taylor-Wood combines elements of still and moving images, frequently exploring the tensions and entanglements arising between people in a closed environment. Often emotionally and spatially disorientating, her highly choreographed scenes bring together a cast of everyday people, close friends, models, and actors. Through highly charged scenarios, her artworks examine our shared social and psychological conditions, and the split between being and appearance.
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