Geoff Dunlop-Kailash Somerset, United Kingdom
I call myself an Artist Curator because these roles come together in my work for exhibition, publication and sale. I appreciate the unique power of discrete artworks but I also seek to collaborate with others, to generate events and experiences and to animate space. As an artist, I make largescale prints, immersive videos and artist books.
I have established myself as an artist curator, after many years travelling the world as a filmmaker. This global experience has made my approach to cultural activity broad and inclusive, with a reluctance to become obsessive about category. I find myself constantly seeking to cross boundaries and challenge assumptions, not as a disruptive activity but as a process of constant questioning, hopefully closer to poetry and philosophy than to polemic. In my initial transition from filmmaking to the artspace and public realm, I was keen to simplify, to replace movement with stillness, sound with silence, and to challenge the tyranny of narrative. Now, as I have gained confidence and concentration, I have abandoned these tight strictures. Yet I find that I often create the still, the silent and the non-narrative in one zone and motion, sound and the sequential in another, establishing a dialogue between zones.
I frequently work with other artists to explore predetermined themes. These artists may include painters, sculptors and performers, but they may also include musicians and writers and even scientists, philosophers and poets.
My principal creative tool is a high-resolution digital camera capable of producing very large prints, or small prints that can be "hidden" (like a treasure) within the leaves of a book. I print on many kinds of paper, on fabrics such as canvas, linen and silk, and on metal and acetate. I am fascinated by translucency, in which changing light transforms the image by shining through it as well as upon it.
What I do now with the camera feels to me much more like the act of painting than photography. Of course, that could mean many things but, for me, it is essentially about seeking to create an emotional, contemplative experience for the viewer rather than a depiction of the world around us. With a nod to Cartier-Bresson, I address the “indecisive moment”, when layers of time spread and bend and pile up on top of each other, often obscuring rather than revealing any specific moment of truth. I explore paradox and contradiction, through evoking continuing processes rather than singular events. Often those processes I hint at are invisible, hidden in darkness, so that my work becomes metaphorical.
Much of the artwork I make is a response to the flowing narratives of nature, and to the wealth of languages that nature has developed that tell us its stories. Thomas Berry, the cultural historian and philosopher of nature, wrote this inspirational text: "We are in trouble because we do not have a good story. We are between stories. The old story ... is no longer effective. Yet we have not learned "the new story". We are talking only to ourselves. We are not talking to the rivers, we are not listening to the wind and stars. We have broken the great conversation. By breaking that conversation we have shattered the universe. All the disasters that are happening now are a consequence of that spiritual 'autism'. "