Saturday, 20 April 2013


222. LAND - SEA HORIZON by JAN DIBBETS until April 20

© Jan Dibbets. Courtesy Alan Cristea Gallery
We know that the camera lies. We know that when we wake up in the mornig we never look out at a world whose edges have been neatly clipped and snipped into a neat square or rectangle. Indeed there is evidence that what we can't see, we at times make up by 'seeing ' what we expect to be there.

This is one of a series of photo collages in which Jan Dibbets, a Dutch conceptual artist, has confronted our expectations to create another sort of reality, We know that the sea can be contained and confined by walls and cliffs - but not by pasture. Beaches are the liminal places where sea and land's vegetation meet and part gently and playfully - or rough-handling each other.  In this work land and sea are jammed up against each other until they become one. It's a surprisingly visceral experience. You can see blades of green grass  up against bubbles of white foam and something in the back of the mind acknowledges the pressure and excitement of such an  unlikely encounter.

Stepping back, you see a cool abstract design. A three-part jigsaw, the horizon flattened into a straight line because the curve of the globe is too delicate for us to appreciate. Powerful harmony.
© Jan Dibbets. Courtesy Alan Cristea Gallery
Jan Dibbets started in 1967 to use photography to create a dialogue between nature and geometrical design, He has also experimented with videos, films and conceptual works. Above Land - Sea Horizon (a) is one of the multiple photographic images in the exhibition which juxtoposes a land and sea horizon, morphing them into a single image. By tilting the camera from  0° --135° the  world is gradually tipped upside down. It's a striking sequence. You almost ezpect the watery sea to slide out of the picture frame onto the gallery floor.. In some images the ocean is almost overhead. 

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