In Conversation With: John Stezaker And Margaret Iversen

The National Portrait Gallery hosts a regular Friday night activity, and this week it hosted a conversation between Margaret Iversen, professor of art history and theory at Essex University, and John Stezaker, artist and photographer.

Stezaker has an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery which includes collage from found photography and a film called Marriage. The film is shot at 24 frames per second and is made of still photos. The photos are collages of a male and famale face which have been joined together.

john_stezaker_2Fig. 1. Marriage VIII (2006)

Stezaker believes the series encourages the viewer to find a way to reconcile the two imdovidials and return them to being a couple.

It’s not what I see. The collages leave me asking what has happened to the couple that leaves them broken and on the point of divorce. There’s a good learning point here for me as a photographer :- I can never know how the viewer will interpret my photography.

john_stezaker_1Fig. 2. Marriage 1 (2006)

Here are some bullet points from the evening.

Collages
Masks
Couples sepetating
Viewer naturally wants to reconcile them
Found photos, postcards, newspapers, magazines
Fascinated with images since childhood
Not a conceptual photographer – the image is all there is
Not surrealist
Curator
Collector of images
Portrait
Collages don’t need to align precisely
Analogue – to much of a temptation for precision with digital

Although I am working with masks in very different ways, I am reconciling my innersel by producing masks to explore my mental health. I aim to produce an opportunity for my viewers to explore their mental health and the qualities they have which help them through their difficulties

Collages
Masks
Couples sepetating
Viewer naturally wants to reconcile them
Found photos, postcards, newspapers, magazines
Fascinated with images since childhood
Not conceptual photographer – the image is all there is
Not surrealist
Curator
Collector of images??? Image library?
Portrait
Collages don’t need to align precisely
Analogue – to much r temptation for precision with digital
Although I am working with masks in very different ways, I am reconciling my strengths by producing masks
I aim to produce an opportunity for my viewers to explore their mental health and the qualities they have which help them through their difficulties

Illustrations

Figure 2 Stezaker, J; 2006: Marriage VIII [Collage]; Online: AT https://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/john_stezaker.htm

Figure 2 Stezaker, J; 2006; Marriage 1 [Collage]; Online: AT https://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/artpages/john_stezaker_1.htm

4 Replies to “In Conversation With: John Stezaker And Margaret Iversen”

  1. This looks to be a very interesting exhibition and fascinating conversation Richard. I shall be at the Cindy Sherman Study Day at NPG this coming Friday and will try and take in Rooms 15 and 16 too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The problem, if a problem it is, for any creative is that the ‘consumer’ may take away something that the creative didn’t purposely put there. And that the take-away the creative intended in not the one that the audience ‘takes away’. Analyzing what the creative meant is hubris – we don’t know. We only know how we react, which may be completely different from the creatives intent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Completely agree. My main focus is that my photography has to benefit me. Even though I have an idea of what I want the viewer to take away, I’m not in control of that at all. So I have to make Photography for me as participant and viewer.

      Liked by 1 person

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