Dan Holdsworth, Blackout

It isn't magic that the sky is black, it is a technical fault. It is an error intentionally carried out. The mountains are not white and these are not snow slopes. This is something the photographer is very upfront about, implying a landscape in a state of redesign. The aesthetic does not carry these images but it is integral to the experience of the series relishing in a practice that is refined and perfect. His ideas are solid and he knows how to adapt the rules.

With the supposed 'blackout' reality is reinvented and discarded. The negative is shown but the trick does not allude us. It take us somewhere, a place we know isn't real in the depiction we are shown shakes up our senses. The mountains get closer and closer, eventually covering ground from a far to a birds eye view. As the camera transcends into the heights of the mountains we move with it. It becomes a surreal experience into a confusion that makes perfect sense if we think about it. It is straight forward but it is hard to comprehend at the same time.

The title implies the sky is in an unnatural, and in fact it is all a lie. The lie is shown through the inverted shades of the mountains, hinting we are looking at the opposite of reality. The experience then takes us completely upside down leaving us disorientated but in control the whole time. This creates a paradox between the scene and its depiction as a photograph.

Dan has utilized a seemingly logical title to get us thinking about reality. This is the primary focus of the photograph. The photographs are exhibited to a large scale so much so we surpass the details of the inversion and are immersed in the black tones of the print. The placement on the walls are tactfully used to highlight the post production to create a seed out doubt. This initial doubt relies on subtleties, barely giving us enough time to acknowledge them. In every instance we are transported into black before we are given the invitation, with each trip hinging on the curiosity of the individual each time.  

As the landscape dawns nearer we are placed at a point where we loose the sky. A strange Technicolor greyscale appears stirring our aerial ability affecting our sense of what’s right or wrong. In one exhibition a light box is used which oozes the photograph from the frame to the darkness of the wall, extending the barriers of the photograph's edge.

We are eventually left in a place that strikes no resemblance to real life as our eyes have adapted to the inverted land. We are then placed amongst the white hills, bewildered and exhausted from the experience undertaken. Only when our gaze is diverted from the framed photograph can we escape the land we had been placed so gradually. We are not trapped for long.