Close-up: Proximity and Defamiliarisation in Art, Film and Photography

24.10.08 – 11.01.09

Curated by Dawn Ades and Simon Baker

This exhibition explored the transformative effects of the close-up in photography and film from the nineteenth century to the present. Magnification can heighten reality or reveal things invisible to the naked eye, but proximity and changes in scale can also render the world strange and unfamiliar.

Close-Up featured a variety of forms of experimental photography and film both historic and contemporary, including a range of media and materials: lantern slides, microphotographs, rayographs, vintage and contemporary photographs and artists’ films. Key themes within the exhibition included the natural world, the human body and the re-imagining of everyday objects.

Artists included in the exhibition: Laure Albin-Guillot, Aenne Biermann, Karl Blossfeldt, Mel Bochner, Jacques-Andre Boiffard, Stan Brakhage, Brassaï, Luis Buñuel, Kate Craig, Salvador Dalí, Wim Delvoye, Mona Hatoum, John Hilliard, Mike Kelley, Dora Maar, László Moholy-Nagy, Jean Painlevé, Eli Lotar, Alfred Renger-Patzsch, Giuseppe Penone, Man Ray, Carolee Schneemann, Simon Starling, W.H. Olley, John Redmayne, Underhill, Lt. Col. J.J. Woodward, and Ellen Willmott.

The exhibition continued The Fruitmarket Gallery’s ongoing series of ideas-driven, guest-curated group exhibitions in which scholars, artists and writers were invited to present new research ideas through the work of a number of artists. The curators of Close-Up were art historians specialising in surrealism and contemporary art. Dawn Ades is Professor in Art History and Theory at the University of Essex and Simon Baker is Lecturer in Art History at the University of Nottingham.

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