Wellington [Moving Pictures Portfolio]

Peter Black, Artist

This is one of the photographs in our collection. It was made in Wellington, Wellington Region, New Zealand in 1990.
This record represents a work in a portfolio and has related works.
Measurements
image: 142 x 212mm
support: 202 x 250mm
Media
black and white gelatin print
Description
"Every photograph by Peter Black reveals a drama. Children appear trapped in cars—a father clasps his baby beneath a toppling statue of Lord Plunket, protector of little children, leaning pensively upon an up-ended rifle—a sinewy old man, neck almost severed by one of those power lines, seems about to hurl himself off a railing into the mist beyond a hedge—another ageing man, in poor shape, plods past a similar railing, one hand checking the vault where his heart depreciates—two young men, one with a shaven head and the other heavily tattooed, seem involved in a stalking melodrama—a dyspeptic man with his jacket over one arm notices that he is being observed, and his hand hastens to straighten the tie he’s already removed.
And always, in these dramas, as they veer from fact toward rapture, as they disclose that other truth of fiction, Peter Black discovers fragments of language, markers, signs. They (the word ‘veges’ erected comically in a plantation) are almost the hallmark of his work—these wry, affectionate, offhand emblems of confusion. It’s not just that Black’s love of accident in photography throws out these chances. The word-fragments, road markers and the like are also evidence of his exceptional sharpness of observation—a way of looking that can seem tranced but which, in the course of its dreaming transport, will dart instantly in at the roadside sign reading 120 with an arrow: This way to everlasting life, or as near as you’re ever going to get to it; and the elderly man leaning against the indicator seems to be looking back the other way, perplexed and a bit sceptical, as though unconvinced by the admonition to go on getting older...There’s a narrative here all right, there’s even a hidden agenda, as these dramas slip one by one past your field of vision, as they slip into each other—each one marked by some small flicker of acute attention, each one folded into the ongoing rapture of transport."
- Ian Wedde, 'Moving Pictures', http://www.peterblackphotos.com/moving-pictures-essay.html
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Purchased, 1997
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
1997

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Accession Number:
1997/23/1.72-74

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