Solo Show

About the exhibition
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Photographs of Films is a series of photographs by Jason Shulman which capture the entire duration of a movie in a single exposure.

The films range from cinema classics such as Citizen Kane, The Wizard of Oz, Deep Throat and 2001: A Space Odyssey to more niche movies such as Digby The Biggest Dog in the World. Also included is a photograph of the most viewed film of all time, The Irony of Fate, a Soviet production which used to be broadcast on Russian television every Christmas.

The photographs capture something the human eye can’t ordinarily see. They collapse the entire duration of a movie into a single moment, a single frame. The results vary from luminous colour field abstractions to visual précis that are both a blur and a reveal. The photographs of Hitchcock films show ghostly figures emerging from an abstract background. ‘With Rear Window,’ says Shulman, ‘you can actually see Jimmy Stewart in his wheelchair against the fragmented lines of window frames. It could work as a poster for the film.’ The Kubricks, on the other hand, do not show human figures. They stand out for their formal composition, almost dividing the image into a triptych.

‘There are roughly 130,000 frames in a 90 minute film,’ says Shulman, ‘and every frame of each film is recorded in these photographs. You could take all these frames and shuffle them like a deck of cards, and no matter the shuffle, you would end up with the same image I have arrived at. Each of these photographs is the genetic code of a film - its visual DNA.’

About the curator

Co-founder, director and curator of Cob Gallery, Victoria Williams studied History of Art at UCL. After graduating, she worked for several years for Waldemar Janusczcak creating art documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4. She founded Cob Gallery and Studios with friend and business partner Polly Stenham in 2011, renovating the gallery from scratch with the aim of providing a platform for young emerging artists. 

Cassie Beadle graduated from The Courtauld Institute of Art in 2006 after specialising in early 20th Century Performance and Contemporary Art. She then embarked on a project called Guts for Garters, an anti-white cube gallery space which saw installations of multidisciplinary fine art and design curated under different themes. Received much like a concept store, Guts for Garters acted as a platform for young emerging designers to exhibit alongside much more established artists. She joined the Cob Gallery as curator in 2013.

Jason Shulman’s Photographs of Films were exhibited for the first time at Cob Gallery in May 2016.