Photographer Stuart Miller pokes fun and despairs as it lays bare advertising as omnipresent and suffuse. In Gold, Miller captures large scale portraits of objects and people coated in liquid gold. He writes that his technique highlights “the everyday smothering of who is beautiful, what to consume and what should be considered valuable convinces people who in this world has privilege, who holds power and who does not.”
Dripped onto his subjects of choice – which include a gun, a cigarette, a banana and a penis – the rich, gloamy gold seems to reveal patterns. He performs a sort of topography with fluid, gilding surfaces in liquid gold to highlight, or maybe to generate, their inequities, pits and hills. Working as a diagnostic tool, epidemiological tool, the languorous drip of the gold onto flesh feels epochal, ancient and choking.
In some of the photographs, a gilded woman walks through a forest. Standing against a tree, hands templed and looking upwards, she seems caught in prayer. In another photo, the same woman, still in the woods, looks to the sky. Spotlighting suggests that her prayer has been answered, and, perhaps, in the darkened low lying area in the image’s bottom right is some way out of the trap. Some way to wash off the gold… (ZS)
Sep 27–Oct 9. Black Eye Gallery, 3/138 Darlinghust Road, Darlinghurst. Info: www.blackeyegallery.com.au
BY ZEIYA SPEEDE