Posted: September 11th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: events, exhibition | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

I’m always pissed off when I miss something I genuinely want to see – and I missed Jonathan Shaw’s exhibition, entitled Crash, at the New Art Gallery, Walsall. Jonathan, a colleague of mine at Coventry University, has had two exhibitions running simultaneously – one in Birmingham and one in Bangkok. I’ll forgive myself for not getting to Bangkok but I feel pretty shabby about not making it to Walsall. Anyway…

…Crash, was taken at the gay nightclub of that name in London in 2001, as a collaboration with the architect Nigel Coates for his book Ecstacity. As displayed in the top floor gallery at the New Art Gallery, Walsall, it’s a 60-metre long, continuous image which is wrapped round the gallery’s maze-like walls.

Jonathan Shaw - CRASH

Jonathan Shaw

“For me, this is about the scale of the work,” says Birmingham-based Shaw, a principal lecturer in photography at Coventry University. To generate the sense of claustrophobia that you experience in the club it’s important that you can never see it in its entirety. It’s about my physical relationship with the camera as well as the relationship of the subjects to the lens.”

The viewer is surrounded by a heaving mass of over-lifesized naked torsos, with bodies blurring into distortions as though in fairground mirrors, or suddenly snapping into sharp focus. Birmingham Post

I won’t miss the next one. Read more about Jonathan’s work on his website: