The Photographer’s Gallery in London celebrated its reopening last month after an 18-month refurbishment. Not only was the exhibition space increased, a new workshop area developed and a camera obscura built, but a digital display named The Wall was installed, serving as an exhibition space for screen media.
Considering the omnipresence of screens in todays’ culture, it is without surprise that this object was finally introduced to the photography museum, after having been incorporated in photo exhibitions for years. However, the particularity of The Wall resides in its use. Indeed, we read on the The Photographer’s Gallery’s website that:
“The Wall forms part of a research programme which aims to explore issues concerning the digital image, its dissemination and display on-screen. The Wall’s programme will include experimental commissions, collaborations and participation. For the opening show, The Wall will address a unique form of image which is best experienced via a screen: the animated gif.”
The Wall’s first exhibition Born in 1987: The Animated GIF features over 40 GIF images by practitioners from a range of creative disciplines, amongst whom artist Simone Massera, a PHrame collaborator at Splash #1. Massera’s selected project I am not what you see and hear consists of a slideshow of digital images taken via the webcam on video chat websites, freezing brief moments of waiting and expectation right before the appearance of another new face on the screen.
This new digital programme truly appears as an exciting challenge posed by this major venue with the desire to keep up with the new developments in the field of photography and PHrame will most certainly be keeping an eye on it.
[vimeo https://vimeo.com/41827888 w=500&h=281]
Simone Massera, Splash #1 teaser, 9th May 2012