SHIMMER, A MANUAL OF UNDOING by Eloise Sweetman and Jason Hendrik Hansma
300 x 425mm, 48 pages, Black & white printing, Unbound, Softcover, 2023
In SHIMMER, A MANUAL OF UNDOING we present a series of hand-developed black and white medium format photos of Shimmer’s exhibitions-in-progress. The photographs were taken during the unpacking, the unwrapping, the decision-making, depicting the often-invisible labor of the art worker. Since 2018 we have been undecided on how to make room for these images, which seem to not fit into conventional forms of contemporary art presentation and documentation. They arrive long after the moment of their generation, finally finding their home in this book's unsettled and unbound pages. It is in the lag--the linger--that we define as our studio method. We take analog photos because of the delay between what is in front of us and what emerges long after the fact. Through the viewfinder we are able to savor the time we have with the artist and their work. By taking the photo we pause the process, like a cigarette break that affords us time to think about what we are making and curating with the artist, and about the afterlife of the exhibition. Every aspect of exhibition-making, curating, and running an organisation is, for us, a creative act. As is typical of acts in life that don't serve immediate ends, the film photos would often be set aside while we attended to the more urgent tasks of installing the exhibition, writing the texts, talking with our audience, and the relentless grind of administration.