Geoffrey H. Short
October 4, 2012 - October 28, 2012
Geoffrey H. Short
Towards Another Theory
Geoffrey H. Short’s series “Towards Another Theory” is an exploration of risk, terror, beauty, and the sublime. The fuel explosion is part of the cinematic vocabulary of special effects and, as such, is a simulation of terror–notably, in these days of computer-generated imagery, the best way to simulate an explosion is still with an explosion. Hiring film industry special-effects technicians to create “big bangs” on the black sands of New Zealand’s west coast, Short
uses fossil fuel (with all its geo-political associations) mixed with gunpowder (with its own history of war, plots, and dangerous entertainment) as an unpredictable, dramatic and multi-layered imaging material. This work is an interrogation of that material, and of the effects of presenting “terrible objects” in an aesthetic realm. The photographs offer both illusion and allusion, the illusion reinforced by the large scale and fine detail of the photographs. While
they document actual, staged explosion events, they allude to every explosion from the original Big Bang of creation to the anxiously anticipated big bang of a terrorist bomb or nuclear disaster. The near absence of a recognizable physical context emphasizes this referential quality, allowing the viewer to imagine their own context, to supply their own narrative around these isolated climactic moments.
Geoffrey H. Short is a photographer based in Auckland, New Zealand. Beginning in the 1980s, he worked as a documentary photographer before specializing in still photography for television and film. In 2010, he graduated with
a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. Short has exhibited in galleries throughout New Zealand and at the Galerie Florence Moll in Paris, and he was recently included in Photolucida’s
2011 Critical Mass exhibition, “Contents: Love, Anxiety, Happiness & Everything Else” curated by Darius Himes, that traveled to Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco.