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The series Best Before end is an attempt to make a series of images that somehow reflect and encompass the intensity of inner city life through not solely exercising photography to depict a chosen subject, in this case part of the image content itself plays a role in creating the images making a more direct physical presence in the image itself. The images were made in East London from where the drinks were also sourced. The colour negative films were part processed and soaked in energy drink, which caused image shifts and disruptions and softened the film emulsion. The softening allowed for manual stretching, moving, tearing and distortion of the layers of film emulsion to take place, and further manual shifts were added with a soft brush whilst the emulsion was still pliable.
- Stephen Gill
Tiredness can indeed kill but then whats death if not a big Chandleresque sleep, in which wiseacre gumshoes drive to the end of the night only to discover that its their own involvement in the case that led to the murder-spree. Ill sleep when Im dead, for all sleep is the sleep of reason we need our wits about us: its an accelerated world out there, demanding split-second decision making capability to hit the right button so as to make the right multi-million dollar trade, or order the next pizza, or download the next app. We swim through an orangey brinelight: a carbonated energy field of unified, fizzing awareness; its dreamlike this existence most certainly but its a waking dream, and for that we have energy drinks to thank.
Stephen Gills beautiful images, which incorporate energy drinks as an integral part of their processing, capture this strange state of being at once driven and aqueous, simultaneously sweet and oh so bitter. The Best Before End series, memorialises the freewheeling Decline of the West; which, to paraphrase Alfred Jarry, the founding father of pataphysics, is best conceived of as a downhill bicycle race sponsored by a major-brand energy drink, in which all of the pursuit riders have the red head of the Minotaur. For myself, Im way out in front of them and pedalling HARD.
- Will Self