War Porn Series, As we forgive them, and no differently, 2008
For his debut London exhibition Charlie Woolley brings together a collection of images and objects which focus around the question 'what can be done with the images which we are confronted by everyday?' Sometimes this question is in response to simple desires: to chart the histories of the instruments and memorabilia of musicians ranging from bands such as Black Flag to convict blues musician Robert Pete Williams. At other times it is in response to the flickering screens of television sets. Here they are frozen into photographs, exposing moments of beauty and technological anomaly as colour explodes through the expanded pixels of black & white film stills. In others the TV's surface sends brightly coloured images into swirls of moiré distorting and disturbing the image and one's vision.
This question also extends to images which do not confront us so obviously, but instead those that are partially hidden and must be sought out. A love letter is blown out of all proportion; the handwriting replaced by a typeface bereft of sentiment, and with the essential words replaced with a line hinting at what might have been said.
A series of landscapes depicting solitary buildings are blown-up low quality digital files found on an internet search engine, the buildings themselves have been removed exposing a second image underneath, which retains the shape of the thing that is no-longer there. These images are inspired by architectural palimpsests, a phenomenon so common in London, a city ever haunted by more and more ghosts.
'I Built my House on Sand' is an exhibition in which nothing is stable. The house was not built on sand through foolishness or by accident, but with the knowledge that we must always be prepared to let what we have go, and start again.
Charlie Woolley: I Built My House on Sand
Until 25 May
David Risley Gallery
45 Vyner Street
London, E2 9DQ, UK
T: +44 (0)208 980 2202