'GETTING LAZY'

‘GETTING LAZY’

JH: “Why do we like the things we like? More and more I struggle to articulate what I love about this thing or that thing, why this image resonates but that image does nothing for me. People seem to develop a mental shorthand when it comes to taste - this is good and that is bad and that’s all there is to it. But I’m fascinated by what people like and why they like it. Most likely your taste just seems like it becomes instinctive as you mature because you’re constantly layering new visual information on old, and that alchemy creates a complicated blend unique to you and your unique set of experiences. A lot like developing a language that in the end only you can speak fluently. At least you know deep down why you like what you like, or you used to.”

“Maybe I’m just getting lazy. Because in truth I don’t believe anything is just surface. Everything means something. Every image is loaded with subtext and information and resonance. The brain constantly tries to decode everything that it sees. I think that’s why I particularly love the ambiguous space that the still image creates - we get to project our own fantasies onto it. As someone who has fixated on the moving image for a long time I was pretty convinced of the death of the still, that every image should move, but I’ve found a new appreciation. At its best the still image is less dictatorial than the film sequence. In being less it sometimes says more.”

“Unlike the finality of film, the photo story is interactive and malleable. By drawing ambiguous references and elements together without the endless contextualising of film you create new stories and new identities, narratives to be interpreted and reinterpreted over and over in endless original permutations. Those elements can be as elaborate as my custom flower suit by costume designer Verity Hawkes in a bath or as deceptively simple as a naked man and a plastic sack. Either way at least for the briefest moment we’re seduced into playing detective to solve the riddle and come up with the plotline. What are we looking at? What’s happening here? Why was it made at all? I feel compelled to play because I’m a curious ape - it’s in my nature - and when I look at ambiguous images I see what I want to see. In our heads we create the before and the after. In our heads we shoot the sequence - but we shoot it our way.”

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