Saturday, 5 May 2012

Still Life Interrupted: Elliott Landy

Today we have a special guest post from Mr Dotty - that is, my boyfriend Chris. For his first instalment he checks out the Emporio Armani/Elliott Landy exhibition...

He left the house and anxiously checked the time again. As usual, he was running late after a conundrum rendered him paralysed in his underwear.

What should he wear for this thing?

Now that he'd sorted that issue out, the next, and completely beyond his control; a dog, wet after bathing in the canal, operating like a punctured fire hydrant with brownish spurts flying into the chilly air, launching itself towards him. Were chinos ever a good call with waterways and dogs in the world?

Then he was at Emporio Armani and the Elliott Landy collection, the rest of the journey competely uneventful and thus unworthy of comment. An extremely friendly woman greeted him at the door, opened by two pleasant and smartly dressed chaps, and asked his name.

'I don't think I'm on the list,' he said, too quietly. Fortunately greeters are used to people less confident than themselves (because by definition EVERYONE is less confident than them - that's their job) and said 'I'm sure you are (winning smile)'. A quick indicative glance at the invite list -

'Chris Green'
'Yes, here you are.'
As if it were the most natural conversation in the world (which it was).

He walked around the gallery in a striped t-shirt, chinos and brown boots (don't worry, I know where I am) supping from a complimentary Peroni, marvelling at the photography on offer. If I get the chance to tell people about this, particularly a large audience, I'm going to recommend everyone come and see it, he thought to himself.

Janis Joplin

A man in a suit walked over and asked if they were his pictures. He played along and said they were, and an amusing moment ensued where he adopted the persona of another man for his audience and tried to mimic his behaviours based on what sort of guy he thought Elliott Landy was. They grinned and went their separate ways, the set piece (and alcohol) having settled his nerves somewhat.

He spent the next hour or so checking out the remarkable images on offer. He scribbled down a particular irony in Landy using infrared, a photographic technique perfected by the CIA for tracing heat residues, in capturing some of the central figures in western counterculture, like Dylan, Joplin and Hendrix. He loved the effect the technique had in reducing physical movement to etheral streaks and curved flashes oflight, creating impressions of sonic physicality and in some cases removing the creator from the act. There was something weirdly profound in that, he felt.
Ornette Coleman & son

As he stared at a picture of Bob Dylan surrounded by warm hazy pink blossom, he realised how influential Landy had been in creating this artwork. It was as though as Landy were umbilically attached to the Summer of Love and now its ideas and philosophies were his lfeblood. He couldn't imagine the era of these legends being captured in any other way and that, surely, was the mark of genius that only a few possessed. 

Mostly, however, he noticed he was really prone to monologues. He put it down to the influence of weblog culture.
John Lee Hooker

Elliott Lady's collection is available to view at Emporio Armani, Spinningfields until Monday 7th May. These JPEGs will be disappearing then so view the exhibition while you can!

1 comment:

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