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‘The strength of montage lies in the fact that it involves the spectator’s emotions and reason. The spectator is forced to follow the same creative path that the authors followed when creating the image.’
S. Eisenstein, The Film Sense
Primarily known for his film work, Luke Fowler’s Two-Frame Films explores the relationship between the artist and the still-image. Fowler uses a half-frame camera whose obsolescent format forces the printing of two images in one standard 35 mm frame. Considered as a whole, the paired images reveal an event unfolding – a meaningful narrative posed by photographic sets, sometimes close in temporal proximity (the blink of time passing, perhaps), while at other times, the intervals are more expansive, challenging the viewer to connect visible terminal points in a satisfying way.
Fowler experimented with different film stocks, subjects and framing, and the images are inextricably linked to his filmmaking as evidenced by the elements of montage, colour and reflectivity that permeate the series. In both still and moving image, Fowler considers how an event might be abstracted by the camera apparatus in a subjective ordering of reality that is emphasised by the dialectic between paired images. The photographs are a means of personally testing the ability of the camera to authentically bear witness to an event, and its fallibility as a medium of representation.
Luke Fowler is a Scottish artist and filmmaker, creating cinematic collages that reference the British Free Cinema movement of the 1950s, and documentary films. In 2012 he was nominated for the Turner Prize for a film exploring the life and work of Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing.