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CLAUDIA CHAN SHAW
Poster Boy

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Claudia Chan Shaw, former host of the ABC's The Collectors, photographic works visually challenge the layers of the paradox in their compressed photographic parameters. Coinciding with the release of her new book, 'Collectomania From Objects of Desire to Magnificent Obsession', the exhibition culminates the results of a five-year visual addiction to the inconsistencies of the periphery landscape within the humble street posters of Barcelona, Paris, Sydney and Melbourne. The result is a photographic indulgence of peeling paper, colours and graphics that explore the street posters presence in the contemporary urban landscape and its relationship to memory, nostalgia, and beauty in our ever-changing ephemeral environment.

 

In the framing device of the photographic medium, Chan Shaw's signature minute detailing in the curling and torn edges, quintessentially expose a sensory hyper awareness of textural qualities. Essentially noting a by product of man made materials exposed to natures time, Chan Shaw's shutter implies the foreboding process of the disintegration the street poster endures, that accidental abstract abbreviation. Each slice of the shutter embalms and translates a new perspective of a singular moment, as the information captured represents the physicality of time passing. Thus they demand the viewer's attention in their fleeting immediacy that dictates a brief morality.

 

Consumer slogans morph into a collective language and myriad of multi-layered messages that reflect the posters momentary time and the mediums continual state of flux. Every day a poster is pasted to a wall. It has a limited time to attract attention and convey its message before someone else's message is plastered on top. That next poster's messages fight for exposure until it suffers the same fate, when anonymous hands strip the posters away, leaving only a hint of what once was. This visual poetry speaks to the posters place within consumer culture that becomes reconceptualised by the cameras intervention.

This relationship to popular culture is informed by Chan Shaw's own nostalgia and visual awareness of the retro aesthetic. A type of Pop Art, Chan Shaw describes her positioning as inspired by "Warhol and Lichtenstein who glorified the everyday in their artworks. My photographic focus is on the language of the street."

 

The final images, Giclee on Hahnemuhle photo rag, echo the texture of the poster, while the print size conceptually reinforces this, reverting to the look of street posters themselves, an implied return to the dimensionality of the original poster. Chan Shaw's fascination with the transitory nature of the urban environment is overwhelmingly evident in Poster Boy, the result of traveling everywhere with her camera, recording the ever changing street scene, revisiting favourite walls to capture that fleeting moment in time.

For further information, please email ng@ngart.com.au

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