Untitled - September 2008
122 x 163 cm
Using actors within carefully considered settings, Hannah Starkeyâ€™s photographs reconstruct scenes from everyday life with the concentrated stylisation of film. Starkeyâ€™s images picture women engaged in regular routines such as loitering in the street, sitting in cafes, or passively shopping. Starkey captures these generic â€˜in betweenâ€™ moments of daily life with a sense of relational detachment. Her still images operate as discomforting â€˜pausesâ€™; where the banality of existence is freeze-framed in crisis point, creating reflective instances of inner contemplation, isolation, and conflicting emotion.
Through the staging of her scenes, Starkeyâ€™s images evoke suggestive narratives through their appropriation of cultural templates: issues of class, race, gender, and identity are implied through the physical appearance of her models or places. Adopting the devices of filmography, Starkeyâ€™s images are intensified with a pervasive voyeuristic intrusion, framing moments of intimacy for unapologetic consumption. Starkey often uses composition to heighten this sense of personal and emotional disconnection, with arrangements of lone figures separated from a group, or segregated with metaphoric physical divides such as tables or mirrors.
Often titling her work as Untitled, followed by a generalised date of creation, her photographs parallel the interconnected vagueness of memory, recalling suggestions of events and emotions without fixed location or context. Her work presents a platform where fiction and reality are blurred, illustrating the gap between personal fragility and social construction, and merging the experiences of strangers with our own.