Los Angeles Helicopter
76.2 x 111.8 cm
In spite of everything ‚Äď the existence of Photoshop and montage, the common use of post-production filters, the ease of deletion and tweaking ‚Äď there is a residual belief that photography still ought to do what it was invented to do: that is, represent, as faithfully as possible, visual reality. Our surprise at a photograph‚Äôs ability to deceive seems perpetual. We never learn. Sean Dack‚Äôs work operates within that murky territory of photographic unfaithfulness, taking as its source images that really ought to co-operate, like CCTV footage.
Rearranging the integrity of the source image through a custom script, Dack‚Äôs images develop unpredictable glitches and impurities that take on an unexpected beauty, much as conventional printmaking makes use of the ‚Äėhappy accident‚Äô.
96.5 x 76.2 cm
In Dack‚Äôs CCTV #2, an image of architectural structures lit by the aquatic green of night vision footage is interrupted by a series of striated glitches that transform the camera‚Äôs indifferent eye into an aesthetic device ‚Äď an interpreter, not a transcriber. That Dack‚Äôs source images employ the unblinking eye of political authority as tokens of an archive of power (missile tests, police helicopters) makes his inversions of fidelity discreetly subversive.
The conversion involved ‚Äď from a disembodied image on a screen to a laboriously printed object ‚Äď is part of Dack‚Äôs elegant reversal of the photograph‚Äôs function, the virtual estranged, made real.