Gallery 1

September 8 - October 22, 1995

Negative perspective is an individual exhibition by Steven Pippin. The young British artist changes objects of common use (a bath, washing machine, toilet, lorry, wardrobe) and even entire rooms (house, gallery space) into a camera obscura - a kind of photographic dark room, a light-proof box with a little hole - and the reversed picture of the photographed object is put onto the back screen of the camera obscura. By putting light-sensitive paper there and treating it chemical the picture can be fixed. Pippin's aim is not accurate representation. He is rather aiming to create an opportunity for recording pictures relying only on the basic rules and processes intrinsic to the photographic phenomenon.

According to the artist, a washing machine or a toilet on a train travelling from London to Brighton can become the term of experiment the original matrix of unexpected sights. The world seen from a strange viewpoint, photographed in such an imperfect way as to be partly indecipherable and mysteriously.

There is a paradox in this - comparing the artist's sophisticated method bringing and the careful preparation to the end result seems to be totally negated by the short exposure time of the photography.

The mentioned result - the "poor", "bungled" picture - is much more interesting than available through normal photographic production. Steven Pippin is a contradictory artist who goes against the stream of modern achievements in constructing better and better cameras which reflect the reality in almost every perfect aspect. The photos taken using the camera obscura method - due to the long exposure time makes possible an incredible rendering of the image, reminding one of the early days of photography.

The photographic process using the camera obscura method selected by Pippin is always recorded on video and jointly presented with the photographic works in the exhibition.

This display in the Centre for Contemporary Art contains Pippin's previous works and videos. The artist also created a new work, changing the gallery space into a camera obscura and making its "self - portrait" in negative, reversed perspective.

The exhibition is a part of British Days in Poland

The curator is Ewa Gorzadek
Translated by Michal Wojtkowski


The Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle
Al.Ujazdowskie 6, 00-461 Warsaw, Poland
tel: (48 22) 628 12 71-3, (48 22) 628 76 83
fax: (48 22) 628 95 50