John Stezaker

Touch (2014)

Edition of 100
Archival pigment print on Somerset Photo Satin 300gsm. Produced by K2 Screen
55.5 x 44 cm (29 x 17 in)
Numbered, dated and signed by the artist on the reverse
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'Touch' has been taken from John Stezaker's Tabula Rasa series. In these collages the artist cuts away areas of vintage film stills, purposefully removing the narrative focus of the image. The empty space or blank canvas created by this subtraction invites us to re-imagine the action being staged.

In 'Touch', the faces of an elegantly dressed couple posing for the camera are obscured by a circular hole. This absence leaves us to consider what their expressions towards each other might have been and the personalities their faces would convey. In this way Stezaker opens up our engagement with the image, encouraging a personal reading of the romance behind it.

John Stezaker intervenes with found images - typically old film stills, vintage postcards, or Hollywood headshots - by excising critical parts of the composition or by juxtaposing two seemingly unrelated images. His concise alterations have a surprising surreal effect and psychological force. In a world saturated by images, Stezaker's manipulations create space both physically and metaphorically for alternative interpretations, for exploring the seams and fissures of the visual world.

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