SOMEWHERE ON TIME
To discover the work of Gabriel Jones is to confront the seemingly obvious. Images whose first impression is disquieting lead to diverse interpretations, unsuspected at first glance. The series Somewhere on Time explores the frontiers between reality and fiction capturing a series of posed micro-events ; situations that are both ordinary and equivocal, where each photograph becomes the possible medium of an emotional state or feeling.
In between spontaneity and stage-managed tableaux, the photographer’s aesthetic choices create a fictional temptation in the established settings of frame and timing, order and randomness, and a subtle equilibrium between the artifice and credibility of the photographic image. These images are taken outside the studio at the mercy of location and model, although the combination of natural and artificial lighting dramatises the shot and gives it a certain aura that attracts and intrigues the eye. Gabriel Jones composes a specific atmosphere for each photograph, initially through the choice of character, pose and place, and secondly, by digital manipulation, adjusting contrast and texture, and the deliberate removal of any sign or reference that might identify the site of the photograph. The juxtaposition of these elements constructs a visual complexity anchored in daily reality, whilst at the same time distant from it. The play between the snapshot aspect of the street photograph and the process of elaboration gives these images their strangeness and a seductive attraction drawing on the tension between the familiar and the uncanny. A man before a collapsed pier, another stretched out in the grass, a young girl in a yellow dress in front of a brick house, a figure coming out of a wood. Are they anxious, frightened ? The question, or rather questions, rest in suspense and doubt is present in each image. Gabriel Jones directs the model and conducts their pose but leaves them room for manœuvre by withholding from them any suggestions that might complete the narrative scenario revealing itself and whose meaning escapes us. Between the seriousness of one movement, and the lightness of another, he wants to hold the precise instant where the subject of the photograph loses control of themself - the body becoming the medium of a recital - an emotion to decipher. They are beings caught in two worlds, in a state of uncertainty that perplexes the spectator, with each image complete yet leaving us to imagine what is going to happen next…
We are plunged into a precarious and uncertain state confronted with the precision of these images in comparison to the opaqueness of their meaning. We are at liberty to interpret and reconstruct the stories at will without any one of them taking precedent as they all present in each of us through our own sensations and experience. The movement between these enigmatic interpretations creates a dialogue around the image, a tension between the imaginary and the real. If one feels a kind of lack of magic, then this is compensated for in the element of fantasy and strange echoes present in the series of work as a whole. The images are in many ways normal but with the element of surprise where the photographer’s eye gives shape to impalpable feelings - moments so brief that only the camera can capture them. This is where the real interest of the work lies. In noting the fragile and ephemeral and the potential of diverse multiple possibilities for the spectator.
Gabriel Jones himself acts as model in each of his collections, putting himself inside the person he is manipulating, subjugating himself to whatever it is he is seeking from others. His photographic scenes are images in the form of mirrors, mirrors of our emotions, mirrors also of their creator who invents for himself a world between reality and fiction. He creates his own community of spirits photographed in urban locations, which with the site and models, creates a mixed palette of sensations and emotions.
Alicia, 2004: 45,5x43 in / 116x109 cm. Ed. 5+2 AP
Falling, 2004: 43 x 54 in / 109 x 137cm. Ed 5+2 AP
Close, 2004: 43x60 in. / 109x152 cm. Ed. 5+2 AP.
Escape, 2004: 43x55,5 in (109x141 cm) Ed. 5+2 AP
Explanation, 2006: 42x53 in (107x135 cm) Ed. 6+2 AP.
Explanation (detail), 2006
Knowledge, 2006: 42 x 58 in (107 x 147 cm) Ed.6+2 AP
Knowledge (Detail), 2006
Lost, 2004: 33,5x60 in (85x152 cm) Ed. 5+2 AP.
Meeting, 2005: 43x55 in. (110x140 cm.) Ed. 6+2 AP
Possible, 2005: 39,4x57 in. (100x145 cm.) Ed 5+2 AP
Reflexion, 2006: 42x49 in. (107x124 cm) Ed. 6+2 AP.
Remembering, 2004: 43x57 in. (109x146 cm) Ed. 5+2 AP.
Deception, 2004: 51x43 in / 129.5x109 cm. Ed. 5+2 AP