Artist biography

English photographer, sound artist and filmmaker. He lived from 1972 to 1979 in Poland, spending two of those years studying graphics at the Academy of Science. His subsequent work articulated his socialist beliefs, often through black-and-white photographs of his friends in Krakow, Poland, or the East End of London; his large photographs were always unique rather than editional prints, stressing their physical identity as handmade objects. These portraits and figure studies have a claustrophobic, sparse atmosphere, suggestive of a mentality bound and defined by the weight of its own history. His work often deals with the problems of a mythologising interpretation of history and highlights the contingency and specificity of the present. In the mid 1990s he worked on a photographic project in Barcelona to describe the experiences and identities of individuals living in communities. From 1996, following his involvement in the Barcelona project, his range of mediums radically broadened to include architecture, theatre, film and music. He continued to work collaboratively, on projects including the exhibition Amnesia (Brussels, Pal. B.-A., 1996), which dealt with war-time collaboration, organised with Dirk Lauwaert and others, and the Ravenstein Conversation project in Brussels (2000), which used a variety of media in a public setting. He also acted as the Artistic Director of the Monts des Arts project, which co-ordinated a variety of arts organisations in Brussels from June to August 2000. These large-scale collaborations extended his concern with European culture and society, and with the dialogues between different communities.

Bibliography
Matter of Facts: Photographie Art Contemporain en Grande-Bretagne (exh. cat., Nantes, Mus. B.-A., 1988)
Craigie Horsfield (exh. cat., by C. Horsfield and J.-F. Chevrier, London, ICA, 1991)
La Ciutat de la Gent (exh. cat., Barcelona, Fund. Antoni Tàpies, 1997)

JOHN-PAUL STONARD
10 December 2000

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