Tate Britain’s new series of contemporary responses to the work of J.M.W. Turner opens with photographs by Darren Almond. In Night as Day Almond revisits the locations of well-known paintings by Turner and other masters and shoots colour photographs during full moon using long exposures.
Many of the photographs created for the Night as Day series are views of the Chamonix landscape depicted by Turner on his visits to France. Other images represent contemporary interpretations of iconic sites immortalised in works by John Constable and Paul Cézanne. Unlike the intentions of these great artists to render what is seen at that moment, Almond’s scenes present a world unseen by the human eye - only the camera can expose this sepia-tinted world of night made light. These photographs, each a single frame of exposure, allow the experience of time to be captured and intensified.
Night as Day also relates to work by pioneering early photographers such as William Henry Fox Talbot, a contemporary of Turner. Like both Fox Talbot and Turner, Almond investigates the language of light. But while Turner often explored the dramatic moments when day becomes night and night becomes day, Almond magically, even alchemically, creates day from night.
Darren Almond works with sculpture, video and film as well as photography. He was born in 1971 in Wigan, England, and has exhibited internationally to wide critical acclaim. His solo exhibitions have included those at the Kunsthalle, Zurich (2001), the Chisenhale Gallery, London (2000) and the Renaissance Society, Chicago (1999). He has also featured in Apocalypse: Beauty and Horror in Contemporary Art (2000, Royal Academy of Arts, London), Seeing Time (1999, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), and Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection (1997, Royal Academy of Arts), as well as many other international group exhibitions.
The exhibition is curated by Sheena Wagstaff, Head of Exhibitions and Displays at Tate Modern. A small catalogue with text by Peter Wollen is available for £2. The exhibition will be open until 21.00 on 7 September 2001 as part of Late at Tate Britain, an evening of free special events.