Castlefield Gallery is pleased to present a solo show of new work by David Osbaldeston, Out of Time (The Light of Day / The Action of the Play). Through manipulated images of news photography and a print series of interpretive book cover designs – wrapping the gallery exterior – from Luigi Pirandello’s celebrated play Six Characters in Search of an Author, the exhibition will explore relationships between the gallery and theatre staging, displacement, reality, illusion and social discord.
The journalistic images are taken from photographic records made between the 1970’s and 1990’s of protests or accidents that report a breakdown of social and economic order such as the LA Riots, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the Waco Siege, the Piper Alpha disaster and the Highway of Death. Re-photographed, appropriated and re-presented by Osbaldeston with textual snippets, amplified in scale and printed on 1980s Ilford photographic paper, the works’ draw attention, both physically and psychologically, to the constructed nature of the photographic image.
Pirandello’s play describes an interrupted rehearsal in which the participating actors become displaced by a number of characters to a prescribed story for which their life has been previously written. What unfolds neatly articulates the existential relationship between art, life and the reconstruction of events.
Through exploring the space between factual and fictional forms, Osbaldeston draws attention to the circumstances in re-constructing reality and the suspension of disbelief. Osbaldeston’s prints similarly aim to re-focus the inevitability of how design may become integrated into our understanding of time and memory. The exhibition becomes a place where both codes of presentation become part of the same exploration; to what extent does presentation become integral to the production of meaning once the event has slipped beyond the impact of its context and into the realm of historic information?
Luigi Pirandello, (1867-1936). Italian dramatist and novelist.
Six Characters in Search of an Author, 1921, a play within a play in which 6 actors interrupt the rehearsal of another play and claim to be its true characters.
Los Angeles Riots, 1992. An uprising following the acquittal of four white police officers in the 1991 beating of Rodney King, a black man who had led Los Angeles police on a high-speed automobile chase. The beating was videotaped by a bystander and broadcast by news organizations.
Waco Siege, 1993. A fifty one day siege by federal agents of the Branch Davidian religious group’s commune headquarters outside Waco, Texas.
Piper Alpha disaster, 1988. An accident aboard the North Sea oil platform Piper Alpha in which 167 people died. The rig was devastated by a series of explosions, caused initially by a gas leakage. An official inquiry held into the disaster highlighted the vulnerability of offshore rigs.
The Highway of Death, 1991. An incident during the Gulf War in which Iraqi military personnel were attacked on Highway 80 by American aircraft and ground forces. The scenes of carnage became some of the most recognisable images of this war.