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Like Jason, also shown here, Ori is a reconstruction of a previously-observed moment, not a documentary record of a real instant in time. Working from an extensive mental catalogue of locations and potential characters, Nicolson poses friends and acquaintances in night-time scenes to make images that are full of narrative possibility and resonance. The setting here is a stage for the character of Ori, who is transgressive in both his dress and actions, and yet rendered slightly vulnerable by the overwhelmingly urban architecture. The formality of the composition, with its receding perspective and ambient lighting, evoke precedents in renaissance painting.

September 2004