Ann Shelton


Photography is a medium of semblances, of multiplicity and fractured realities. In Techniques of the Observer Jonathan Crary suggests that doubled images echo the sense of reconciliation of the similar but not identical images seen by each eye. Two or more images speak of serial reproduction, of repeats, of twinings and of a particular experience which constitutes a slippage from monocular vision and foregrounds the role of the camera in the construction of fields of representation.

A significant aspect of my recent artistic practice has been a concern with the development of a particular signification system, of an ocular language and a formal methodology outside of the normative singular presentation of photographic images. Specifically, I am interested in the use of doubling, pairing, coupling and inversion and in how these formal devices can be used to utilized to disrupt a particular dominant visual system, and in how this visual stammering might change the cognition or reception of images conceptually – suggesting an uncertainty, violence or a kind of duplicity.

Further I am interested in the reversed double and in its status as an impure or inverted copy and in how this device might disrupt the intent, the authenticity, and the surety of a singular view.

My recent work investigates narratives from the archive as they circulate in relation to place. Working with “representational silences” I am interested in obscured or lost histories, urban mythology and the many displaced narratives that circulate in relation a given place. Many of my works take as their subject trauma, anxiety, violence and failure, they ask what is remembered, what is recorded and reiterated, “If memory is reflection then Shelton’s images are about the anxiety of what is able to be really known and kept.”1

  1. Charlotte Huddleston, Ann Shelton: a kind of sleep, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, 2005.