Anne Collier ‘Eye’

Filter #4, 2021, C-print, 6 prints, each: 153 x 123.6 x 4.5 cm, 60 1/4 x 48 5/8 x 1 3/4 in, Installation view, 'Eye', Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore, 2023
Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore

Lismore Castle Arts is pleased to announce ‘Eye’, the first exhibition in Ireland by the New York-based artist Anne Collier. The exhibition is a focused survey of Collier’s works produced between 2007 and 2022 that feature images of eyes, including the artist’s own and those sourced from photography manuals, advertisements, comic books, film stills, and album sleeves. The exhibition considers Collier’s long-standing interest in what curator Michael Darling identified as a “self-perpetuating ocular system”, where the act of looking – or being looked at – is inherent to the photographic process itself.

Over the past two decades Anne Collier has developed a complex body of work that considers our social and cultural relationships with images and with the medium and history of photography itself. At Lismore Castle Arts Collier will present works including her iconic self-portraits ‘Developing Tray #2 (Grey)’ and ‘Cut’, both 2009, alongside more recent works from her ongoing ‘Filter’, ‘Women Crying’ and ‘Women Crying (Comic)’ series, and a new slide-projection work ‘Shutter’, 2022.

Collier’s ‘Filter’ works are indicative of her approach and expand upon her long-standing consideration of the analog photographic process and the mechanics at play in the production, construction and distribution of images. These recent works are based around imagery sourced from vintage American romance comic books from 1950s to 1980s. Collier exclusively focuses on the comic books’ clichéd narratives that paradoxically served to reinforce the notion of a subservient and eternally suffering female subject. On top of a greatly enlarged detail of an image of an emotionally distraught woman Collier applies a Kodak Color Print Viewing Filter, to create a series of ‘frames’ around the recurring or repeated images. The Kodak Color Print Viewing Filter was a pre-digital technical device designed to assist with color correction when making photographic prints in the darkroom. Collier’s resultant ‘Filter’ works depict sequential images that suggest a liminal space somewhere between the photographic and the cinematic: between a still and a moving image.

Central to Collier’s ongoing project is a consideration of the emotional and psychological attachments that we develop with images, and how these (auto)biographical narratives relate to photography’s inherent relationship with memory, melancholia and loss. Throughout her work Collier seeks to privilege the relationship between gender and image-making, whilst simultaneously maintaining a tension between the ’objective’, almost forensic-like depiction of her subjects and the often fraught and highly emotive nature of the images that she creates.