artist / participant
Matt Bryans' installations of newspaper cuttings reflect the overflow of information that spills into our minds and settles into our collective understanding of the world. Working from an ongoing collection of thousands of black and white newspaper images, he alters each one by rubbing out the background and contours of faces, leaving only the eyes, mouth and mist-like shadows.
These are then collaged together on the wall and form a haunting fresco that threatens to grow organically of its own accord. The sinister atmosphere soon slides into romanticism, as a glimpse of death gives way to utopian visions of heaven or afterlife.
Although the context of the politicised source material has been erased, the newsprint never shakes off its allusions to the politics of information. However, here the specifics have been eradicated so that disembodied features of a celebrity are indistinguishable from an accident victim or local hero.
Bryans' figures represent not the particular, but more an essence of humanity that transcends the usual groupings of nationality, gender and race. They read like half-forgotten memories that glide in and out of proximity to the truth, which brings us back full to circle to the source material itself.
Matt Bryans - born in Croydon 1977, lives and works in London
Previous Exhibitions May It Return In Spades, curated by Johnny Gunshannon, Bart Wells Institute, London, 2002 If The Wind Changes You'll Stay Like That, curated by ETP Hathaway, Mafuji Gallery, London 2001 Hellseher, Dusseldorf, Germany, 2000
only in german