CTY brings together a large selection of Antony Cairns’ oeuvre from his various cities/projects in London, Las Vegas, Tokyo and Osaka, (including LDN3, LDN4, LPT and OSC), interspersed with 6 texts by Simon Baker (senior curator of photography, TATE). Each text takes a quote as starting point from authors including JG Ballard, William Gibson, HP Lovecraft and Benjamin Péret to introduce themes of urban life and urbanisation, including Drowned City, Ruined City, Abstract City and Endless City.
Antony Cairns (b.1980) has used the city and urban development as an ostensible subject and engages deeply with the history of the photographic medium, experimenting printing methods and the aesthetics of abstraction.Hehas evolved a unique and distinctive oeuvre that reanimates historical processes and repurposes old technologies in new and unexpected ways, always through a keen focus on urban topographies and unrelenting built-up environments that visually recall the dystopian worlds of science-fiction.
The ingenuity and originality of his work has garnered much critical attention; he was awarded the prestigious Hariban Award in 2015, and has been featured in international festivals and institutional exhibitions, most recently in A Matter of Memory: Photography as Object in the Digital Age at the George Eastman Museum in New York. In 2017 he will be included in the Tate Modern exhibition Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art.
10 special editions consisting of a book with an aluminium print
Limited Edition of 750
376 Pages 161 X 216 mm printed duo tone on rare pearl paper
Antony Cairns (b. London, 1980) takes photographs at night, using the available light cast by buildings in urban centers like London, Tokyo and Los Angeles. In many cases the structures that he chooses are still under construction, little more than the skeletons of the office buildings and luxury apartments of that they are destined to become. His work is resolutely non-topographic, in the conventional sense in which photography has been used to record spaces, structures and architectural styles. There is more, however, to Cairns’s work than simply his distinctive approach to picturing the urban environment. His is a practice that accepts and embraces the photographic medium in its sophisticated entirety: from the effect use of light on analogue film, through a range of experimental darkroom processes, to an innovative and highly specialized understanding of the supports available to the photographic image in the twenty-first century. Cairns presents his work in a number of complementary but contrasting ways: from painstakingly layered and assembled artists books LDN (2010), LPT (2012), OSC (2016); to translucent films of silver gelatin applied directly to sheets of aluminium, LDN2 (2013), LDN3 (2014); to experiments with electronic ink, both in working Amazon Kindle reading tablets hacked to contain his complete work, LDN EI (2015); and on their extracted frozen screens; strange distant descendants of the daguerreotype, TYO2 (2017). Cairns was also the winner of the 2015 Hariban Prize, resulting in a residency at the Benrido Collotype atelier in Kyoto. Once again faced with the possibility of extending and expanding the photographic image through its reproducible character Cairns made a series of interventions within, and interpretations of, the collotype process LA-LV (2016). Cairns has recently begun to explore the prehistory of the digital age in several related ways, by printing his works and assembling them as montages on early computer punch cards, OSC Osaka Station City (2016) and by using the screens of outmoded digital cameras and equipment to screen and project his work. Cairns has exhibited and published widely, in Europe, the United States and Japan. He lives and works in London.