Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hannah Starkey

"Hannah Starkey’s filmic tableaux recall the dramatic yet measured tensions of Alfred Hitchcock or Edward Hopper. Working between reality and fiction with the mise-en-scène, Starkey reconstructs real people and observed situations using a vocabulary of codes and signs culled from contemporary urban culture. The everyday locations are fragments of a generic urban environment, while the fictional characters in Starkey’s pictures oscillate between collective (social, political, economic, cultural or geographic) signifiers and stereotypes of individual personalities. These figures are more often than not women – although there is a sense that, as Starkey says, you can make a picture of women that is not necessarily about women.

The figures in her photographs don’t do much; they wait in cafés, linger in a video rental store, stare out of windows on the bus. Isolated by their own thoughts, these figures are intermittently present and remote from their immediate surroundings, caught up by dramas taking place elsewhere. Starkey’s instinct for narrative animates the non-events she depicts"

Bishop, Claire, “Hannah Starkey, Quietly Loaded Moments,” Flash Art v.32 no.207 (Summer 1999): 124-25

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