Stranger, Still

Photographs by Jeremy Blincoe


JEREMY BLINCOE Trying to Find A Balance 2014
C-print, 835 x 1000 mm.

The world is, indeed, a very strange place, made stranger still by the photographs of Jeremy Blincoe. His large, composite, digitally manipulated images are sharp and clear, throwing a hyperreal volley back at painters who might emulate the photograph. They are also murky, encouraging, almost mandating close scrutiny to ascertain what exactly is going on. They seem to be photographed in an atmosphere of permanent dusk, a time that equates to that surreal crunch moment that belongs to all of us on a daily basis, when that blurring occurs between the states of being asleep and being awake, and the clarity of dreams is usurped by the clarity of a new day.

Blincoe, New Zealand-born and resident in Melbourne, has won prizes for his photographs on both sides of the Tasman. He enjoys escaping the canyons and buttes of the city to find similar features in the Victorian landscape. He spends time scouting for locations, and then more time waiting for the land to look right. Armed with his photographs he mixes them up, to create images that contain not just storylines but also history. He places solitary young individuals into situations that ooze with mystery and menace, and sometimes hope. Their predicament is not unlike that of the subjects of good fairy stories about bad kids, those who play with fire, or tell lies. Blincoe’s narratives are not so delineated. There may be messages, but they are not overt, nor prescriptive; rather he hints at issues such as environmental degradation, the consequences of bad decisions and the weight of human folly.

His approaches take on new meaning with his later series, portraits of Aboriginal youths set amongst the rocks, the horizon, the sky and the aridity of Australia. Using the same set of tools Blincoe makes these more than just portraits. Played relatively straight—there is no crocodile in the grass, no swooping owl—these naked Northern Territory natives are in and above the land, placed centrally in the image, as if each of them is the point around which the great world spins. These are portraits not of an individual, nor of a location, but of a people, a continent and a history lasting millennia. Because their subjects are crystal clear, photographed again in the fuzz of dusk, these images are simultaneously frustrating and satisfying, not unlike the regular realisation that our own personal dreamtime does not really exist, and must be broken by the light of each new day.

JEREMY BLINCOE Nicholas 2010
C-print, 666 x 1000 mm.

JEREMY BLINCOE Detachment 2016
C-print, 673 x 960 mm.

C-print, 1000 x 1740 mm.

JEREMY BLINCOE Nathan McGuire 2018
C-print, 1000 x 1510 mm.