Death In A Place Like This
Curated by SAMIA ASHRAF
James Dean Diamond utilises the medium of photography and sound to explore the realms of fantasy. Illustrating a confluence of the representational, the abstract and the artificial ‘Death in a Place like This’ is a concept that has evolved through a meta-emotional state.
The notion of death considers the physical act of dying (the exact moment and definition of which remains inexact in medical science) as a removed state of being. During such a process the brain induces a collation of images to surface from dreams, memories and nightmares. The audience encounters an environment that comprises unknown places, inhabited by ectoplasmic characters, solitary figures, shadows, reflections and textural surfaces. There is an element of the work that concentrates on depicting the actual material subjects in a sublime and abstracted form, while other pieces are digitally manipulated to convey a haunting presence.
Inspiration is drawn from gothic punk and classical music, specifically the British cult band of the 1980’s ‘Bauhaus’ and Olivier Messiaen’s ‘Quartet for the End of Time’ (1941). The intention has been to convert sound into a two dimensional form. Other notable influences include German Expressionist cinema, in particular filmmakers/animators the Brothers Quay’s Kafkaesque fantasy the ‘Institute Benjamenta’ (1995).
The 32 pieces have an omnipresent black palette that resembles asphalt. This infers to Diamond’s disdain of the homogenisation of contemporary British culture and the pervasive misnomer of a ‘real life’ genre. Diamond reminisces on his gothic punk youth where he sought to escape provincial life and exist in a fictional world of theatre and film – in doing so, the work becomes an allegorical self-portrait of the artist.
The following works are ‘Untitled’ from the series ‘Death In A Place Like This’ | Dimension: 100cm x 150cm | Medium: C -TYPE | Edition: Eight per piece | Date: 1997 - 2004