Clinton Holler

Clinton Holler views the photograph, in the same way as philosopher Vilem Flusser, as a technical image form that has fundamentally changed the way in which the world is seen. Photography heralds new forms of perceptual experience and knowledge. In contrast to paintings that can be sensibly read, as more or less direct signs, of what the painter intended, photography produces images that cannot be so directly ‘decoded’.

The crux of this difference stems from the fact that photographs are produced through the operations of an apparatus. Holler examines this limitation through his photography using varied strategies. Sometimes he will cede control to the random, selecting accidentally created images of the world in preference to those ‘taken’.

As a comment on the ubiquity of Instagram snapshots and the use of photo-editing tools Holler, in the ‘Empty Value of the Herd’ series, takes conventional photographs and uses extreme editorial techniques, now built in as standard to conventional cameras. He creates otherworldly images with extreme colours, contrast and visual effects. Other techniques include privileging the 2D nature of images over the 3D effect superimposed by our brains by taking series of images where the surface is prioritised: reflections (using perhaps glass and water), shadows and printed surfaces.

In the ‘Accept Only the New’ series he photographs man-made coverings, such as images of landscape that are sometimes utilised to conceal ‘unsightly’ building works in cities. Intended to create a 3D experience to render the eyesore ‘invisible’ the cladding is reduced by Holler firmly back in to two dimensions, its falsity revealed by give-away intrusions.

In a world overwhelmed with imagery Holler critiques all those using a camera who might think that they are operating its controls to produce a picture that shows the world the way they want it to be seen.

However, given the central role of photography to almost all aspects of contemporary life, Holler argues that the programmed character of the photographic apparatus shapes the experience of looking at and interpreting photographs and hence the world around us.  His work examines the cultural contexts in which we interpret meaning  and shape our outlook on the world.