John StezakerThe Oath 1978

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Artwork details

Artist
John Stezaker (born 1949)
Title
The Oath
Date 1978
MediumPostcard on paper on photograph, black and white, on paper
Dimensionsunconfirmed: 198 x 248 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 2007
Reference
T12341
On display at Tate Britain
Exhibition: Ruin Lust

Summary

The Oath, like The Trial (T12342), is one of four collages in a group entitled The Trial that Stezaker created from a cache of film stills from a single 1950s film. Each collage consists of a black and white photograph altered by the addition of a postcard, which conceals a large part of the action depicted in the still, replacing it with an image of water. As in The Trial, the still used for The Oath is a scene in a French court room. Around the postcard, positioned in the upper centre of the still, the court is visible as a heavily panelled environment made up of wooden pews and partitions. In the foreground, on the right side, a smartly dressed woman stands at the dock, apparently about to take the oath of truthfulness required of all witnesses before they give evidence in court. Raised to head height, her right hand disappears into an image of ancient stone columns rising up the right side of the postcard… (read more)

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