ARTIST:

Daniel Gordon

Daniel Gordon
Portrait, 2010
Chromogenic print
101.5 x 76 cm

Daniel Gordon describes himself as a photographer, “as straight as you can get”, before throwing a spanner in the works by adding that what he’s photographed never really existed. It’s the act of photographing that brings things into existence.

Daniel Gordon
Portrait In Orange And Blue, 2010
Chromogenic print
117 x 91.5 cm

By way of explanation, he relates a story of seeing a woman step on a pile of baby birds, though it turned out to have been a heap of shredded cardboard. The feeling he tries to convey in his work is the one felt in such a moment, when things suddenly turn out to be not what you’d thought they were.

Daniel Gordon
Portrait In Yellow And Red, 2010
Chromogenic print
61 x 51 cm

Gordon admits that the complex assemblages he constructs from stacks of old magazines and internet downloads may also, once he looks through the lens, amount to no more than that lifeless, “shredded cardboard”.

Daniel Gordon
Salmon Skin And Shadow, 2010
Chromogenic print
61 x 51 cm

It’s his particular version of Cartier-Bresson’s decisive moment: it happens, or it doesn’t. Photographing creatively is willing things into life, or as Gordon puts it, “making ordinary moments extraordinary”.

Daniel Gordon
Silhouette, 2010
Chromogenic print
61 x 51 cm

Writing of the pioneers of the photomontage, Hannah Hoch and Raoul Hausmann, with whom Gordon bears striking similarities, Dawn Ades characterizes the essence of their technique as “subversive ambiguity”. That shredded cardboard may still pack a wallop.

Text by William A Ewing
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