Jeff Wall in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

There is so much to see in this exhibition.  Wall’s engages you in a different way somehow to the way so much other photography does.  The work that is presented in ‘light-box’ form especially seems to invite you to look at it in a different way.  It brings it closer to the language of film perhaps, we are less aware of the object, or at least the surface.  Instead we submerge ourselves in the world beyond the frame.  The normality of it all draws you in to a world that in other ways seems so different an almost palpable ‘otherness’.

Wall constructs and manipulates our vision on what he offers us. But often the complexity is such that you know that many of the conclusions and thoughts you find yourself considering are likely to be if not accidents, well, things that just happened.

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Walking round the exhibition with friends we found so much to pick up on and discuss.  The discussion felt in many ways like a discussion we might have had about an exhibition of figurative paintings from say, the seventeenth or eighteenth century.  The way everything has a place and a reason for placement.  Yet Wall acknowledges himself that his degree of control is different.  Few things arrive on a figurative painting of this type by accident, the painters hand is in everything.  Wall’s tableaus show likewise a large degree of control, but working through the lens of a camera throws up other layers of consideration.  These were the loops of discussion we found ourselves in. Reality and fiction, pure representation and theatre, control and unintentional occurrences.

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