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Courting Frustration

13 June 2019 — 07 July 2019

Can a photograph look at us? Is there such a thing as the ‘purely visual’? A picture functioning without repressive linguistic, cultural or ideological sinew clinging to it. The camera as an appearance recording instrument has the power to land the viewer of an image directly in the shoes — or eyes — of the author to present in the context of a frame and composition, a reality that does not cease to exist. The viewer is however, devoid of any command over the scene, where and what we are looking at — and indeed what we are not looking at — is all in the hands of the ‘other’.

Michael Mahne Lamb is a New Zealand born artist currently based in Wellington. He holds a Bachelor of Design (Honours) from Massey University. His first book Complements, published by Bad News Books in 2018, was an exploration of visual thinking. In particular, how images can stimulate the mind through the activation of amodal perception. Courting Frustration builds upon the language of Complements, and asks the question ‘Can a photograph look at us?’


Michael Mahne Lamb