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John Stezaker: Lost World | Geoffrey Batchen, David Campany, Robert Leonard

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John Stezaker: Lost World | Geoffrey Batchen, David Campany, Robert Leonard

38.80

Published by Riding House, 2017 on the occasion of the exhibition John Stezaker: Lost World, curated by Robert Leonard for City Gallery Wellington.

270 x 230 mm, softcover, 86 pages, colour and b&w illustrations

ISBN 9781909932432

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British Conceptual artist John Stezaker (b. 1949) is known for his distinctive, often deceptively simple, collages. He has been making art since the 1970s, but achieved prominence relatively recently.

In 2011, he had a retrospective at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, and, in 2012, he won the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, even though he does not take photographs.

Stezaker says collage is about ‘stuff that has lost its immediate relationship with the world’ and involves ‘a yearning for a lost world’. A collector, he works from an archive of out-of-date images—mostly old film stills, vintage actor head shots, and antique postcards. These images come in standard sizes and are highly conventionalised—all variations on themes.

Art critic David Campany says, Stezaker ‘is drawn to that very slim space between convention and idiosyncrasy.

In addition to collages, Lost World includes poignant found-object-sculptures: a selection of antique mannequin hands, offering a repertoire of gestures. There’s also a film, Crowd, presenting hundreds of film stills of crowd scenes, each for one frame only, in a bewildering blur.

Accompanies the touring exhibition, John Stezaker: Lost World — City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand (26 August – 19 November 2017), Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand (9 December 2017 – 4 March 2018), Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand (24 March – 22 July 2018), and Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (21 September – 4 November 2018).

Geoffrey Batchen teaches art history at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is the author of Burning with Desire: The Conception of Photography (1997) and Each Wild Idea: Writing, Photography, History (1999). His most recent book is Emanations: The Art of the Cameraless Photograph (2016).

David Campany is a writer, curator, and artist, working mainly with photography. He has written over two hundred essays and contributes to Frieze, Aperture, Source, and Tate Etc. His recent exhibition-and-book projects include A Handful of Dust (2017), The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip (2014) and Walker Evans: The Magazine Work (2014). He teaches at the University of Westminster, London.

Robert Leonard is Chief Curator at City Gallery Wellington, where his recent exhibitions include Viviane Sassen: Lexicon, Yvonne Todd: Creamy Psychology, Julian Dashper & Friends, Francis Upritchard: Jealous Saboteurs and Colin McCahon: On Going Out with the Tide. He curated Simon Denny: Secret Power as New Zealand’s pavilion for the 2015 Venice Biennale.