Memories of a Lost Shark is a photography and text exhibition by James Clifford (photography) and Edmundo Desnoes (text) currently on show at Handle Court Gallery in Chester City centre. I visited it Sunday afternoon, incidentally during the gallery’s Sunday afternoon live music sessions which are worth a visit in their own right. But for now back to the exhibition…My immediate impression were of some really we’ll executed black and white street photographs taken on the streets of Cuba. in themselves not anything beyond what I’d imagined a good photographer would capture while travelling; The characterful dog, the shy child playing out, the exotic, yet authentic looking guys gathered on the street chewing the fat ( well in this case playing dominos) you get the idea. But then you start reading the accompanying text and the image changes. The photos that once felt like earthy documentary have a edgier voyeristic and uncomfortable feel to them. The shy child now looks vulnerable, the dog too suddenly goes from observed to something approaching fetishistic.
The text and image without doubt achieve the creation of individual and combined stories, they do work well together. I am not sure what I took from them was intended by the artists. But I am so pleased to experience some art in Chester that challenges my perceptions and gets me thinking.
In summary it’s high quality, thoughtful , weird and questionable. It’s great to have work in Chester that shakes things up a bit, and moves beyond eye candy. More please Handle Court Gallery.
Memories of a Lost Shark is on show at Handle Court Gallery, Northgate Street, Chester until the end of today 8th May 2014.