Thursday 10 March 2011

John Stezaker at the Whitechapel Gallery - collage work using archive images

Last weekend- after a Friday and Saturday night at home I decided I had to get out and about on Sunday and do something, but, with so much choice in London what to do!  I chose to go to the Whitechapel Art Gallery which I love anyway, but which also has an exhibition on which I'd been wanting to see for a while.  The work of John Stezaker is collages which he creates from classic movie stills, old postcards and book and magazine illustrations and clippings.  He puts these together in such a way that although you know instinctively that the image is wrong, in the sense that it's been altered, there is something about them that's so right.  Often the images are lined up, for example in the image below he lines the faces in the movie still up with the edges of the cliff from the vintage postcard.  I found this whole exhibition incredibly pleasing! It made me smile as I walked around it, which is always nice on a Sunday afternoon, and you could read so much into the images, but you could also just enjoy the act of looking, the new meanings and contexts created by mixing together these old images.

It's only on for one more week, finishing on Friday 18th March and I would highly recommend this to anyone who gets a chance to visit before it finishes.  If I lived in the area it's something I would probably have gone back to more than once, in fact if I wasn't going away this weekend I think I'd be going back! 

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