Issue 72 2005 pp 72-73

London: Stephen Friedman Gallery DRYDEN GOODWIN

26th November – 8 January

Dryden Goodwin’s recent exhibition comprised a commissioned video and photographic piece, Stay (2004) and a selection from his on going series of etchings, ‘State’ (2004). Moving between these diverse mediums, the work played with ideas of movement, memory and the artistic process that records the passing of time.

In the video Stay the camera lens glides at varying speeds through a series of continuous landscapes – the everyday setting of an urban canal, a claustrophobic highway tunnel, an anonymous forest. The video is accompanied by photographs, and it is the counterpoint between the photographic and filmic that is at the centre of the work. Passing from desultory slowness to rapid acceleration, the image quickly alternates between blurred haziness and clear articulation. Disorientation is compounded by a soundtrack of police sirens, nameless rustling and the rushing of wind, so that these ordinary locations become suddenly fraught with danger.

In the back gallery a series of etchings depict cityscapes and portraits. The same subject is portrayed many times with subtle alterations, a deft variation on a theme that creates a kind of living portrait, of people and the city. Each image is composed of multiple layerings derived from a single copper plate: the layers form what might be termed the residue of the image. Or material remains that communicate the temporal evolution of a portrait.

It is, in a sense, the etchings that form the substance of the show. Modest in scale, they none the less contain a tremendous quality of loss and nostalgia. Time takes a material presense in this work, emphasised by the inclusion of the original plate. Time itself becomes part of a process grounded somewhere between craft and art.

Katie Kitamura