One person’s photographic gaffe is another person’s treasure. In acclaimed photographer Tierney Gearon’s latest exhibition, “Explosure”, she takes the the classic “mistake” of a double exposure to merge two fairly benign images into something much more provocative. Revealing how the emotion of any image can be altered by removing it from its original context, she blends and morphs her photos, often with a vintage feel, into complex but completely visual statements on body image, voyeurism, sexuality, and more. Melanges teeming with glimpses of nudity, maternity, infancy, nature, and youth, these recent images are a fearless continuation of some of Gearon’s key elements of her photographic style.
The eptiome of an outcome being greater than the sum of its parts, the images are borderline metaphysical; the subject seem both haloed and haunted as the secondary image, the ghost image, subtly pervades their world and unequivocably alters their existence. Hazy and reminiscent, it’s like a collision of two memories – displaced by time and space yet still showcasing the struggle of one human mind. Often one half seems to be alive and active, and one half seems to be suspended by the action of the others. Like a phantom, bound to the focus of its silent watching forever though the unmoving image. Unclear whether the mix is a person remembering the past or fantasizing the future, each shot collides image and expectation into a sort of lucid photographic dream.
If you’re lucky enough to be in London, then “Explosure” is running until January 27 at Phillips de Pury & Company.
Gearon was also the subject of a 2006 documentary, “The Mother Project”, looking into the fallout after her 2001 exhibition “I Am A Camera” at London’s Satchi Gallery was deemed as “child pornography” by authorities and she was threatened with legal charges. Frequently using her own children as subject in her photographs and having also dealt with her mother’s psychological problems, the doc looks into the circle of mother and daughter, artist and subject, and how each have impacted the other and her ability to create.