Bill Farr & Robert Gott - 'Shadows & Light'
Wednesday 9 - Saturday 26 February 2022
Depending how promiscuous you are in defining what is and what isn't film noir, there may be between 500 and 750 films that fall into this genre. True aficionados find this figure ludicrous and will not allow more than 200. Of this 200, only a handful are consistently good. The rest are curate's eggs with clumsy narratives, poor scripts and indifferent acting. They are rescued by flashes of luminous brilliance, although 'rescued' is perhaps not the right word. two seconds in a 90 minute film is no-one's idea of rescue. Let's call it 'interrupted'.
I am not a film noir fanatic - and neither is Bill. You won't learn very much about film noir in this exhibition. We're not film historians. We're suckers for shadows. Film noir, in its finest seconds, is all about shadows, often used to disguise cheap sets or to save on lighting costs. We went about playing with shadows in different ways. Bill uses pencil: I use charcoal. Bill went big (mostly): I went small. Bill used carefully constructed film stills and publicity shots and sought to retain their glamour and impossible precision. I found those elusive, gorgeous seconds in films, froze them and tried to capture their beauty. I watched a lot of bad films so you don't have to.
These drawings say nothing about the world we live in. Sometimes that's a relief. Sometimes the ye needs to rest from its weary roaming about the real world, where shadows hide threats and light expresses horrors.