A Selection of Works
'When We Mean to Build'
We warmly invite you to preview two exhibitions from
Marc Doesburg and Murray Eskdale.
Friday September 29
Marc Doesburg’s black and white images are an exposition of his view of the world, carefully composed in an attempt to create order in line, tone and visual rhythm.
The works illuminate the ordinary but suggest a wider narrative, inviting interpretation from the viewer. They are an expression of spontaneous discovery rather than pre-visualisation.
This exhibition brings together a selection of photographs from places he has lived in andvisited, and spans a period of over forty years. It is a personal diary, capturing the everyday in the style of documentary photography.
Photographer Murray Eskdale’s 2023 black and white photographic series “When We Mean to Build” offers a set of iconic landscapes or “views” (such as “Pylon, from South Road”) and buildings (such as “Hospital” or “E D 1954”) taken over the months July–September, 2023. These sites will be familiar to Dunedin inhabitants, who will have passed them many times, perhaps without even having taken note of their existence.
The carefully choreographed geometry of each frame imposes an aesthetic of control and containment upon each image, creating tightly organised graphic arrangements of delicate greys and blacks that are strictly marshalled by well-articulated perpendicular and horizontal boundaries––this formal discipline appears, almost, to arrest the passage of time by offering these images as monuments to the past. Yet, the Dunedin viewer is inevitably aware that neither “E D 1954” nor “Hospital” are destined to withstand the depredations of history as the city itself moves from one mode of industrial production to another––from the mechanical to the microelectromechanical.
By shooting on black and white 5x4 sheet film with a large-format camera, and then producing a subsequent digital print (from the resulting negative), the artist draws on both the mechanical (through the camera) and the digital (through his printing process). In so doing, he mirrors in his own practice the shifting landscape that his images seek to represent. The viewer is invited, then, to invest these images with both a sense of, one, nostalgia for the past as incarnated in the analogue image, and, two, admiration for the present as represented in the miracle of this same image’s resurrection through digital technology. As such, this series ask us to value the past, while looking to the future.