The Twenty SS20 Issue

Ebb & Flow: Mickey Smith – Denudation

By Jo Phillips

Image: Mickey Smith, 363.75 N, 2012, Archival pigment print on paper, 40 x 26 inches, Edition 1/5

Memory is fragile and oblique, prone to disintegrating without a trace as naturally as the tide clears a sandcastle on the beach. Time spent, meetings made and chance encounters can ebb away, but sometimes only temporarily. Memories are stored away from the consciousness in mementos, keepsakes and artefacts. Something as significant as a ticket stub or unremarkable as a plastic bag can unleash a memory, the acquisition of it tied to an extraordinary story.

Image: Mickey Smith, 133.12 S1, 2012, Archival pigment print on paper, 20 x 30 inches, Edition 1/5

In Denudation, artist Mickey Smith uses lost property to excite the imagination into the possibilities within. All the items left in an abandoned library have been photographed individually and with an aim of neutrality. The resulting photos are exhibits in a crime scene: photographed to simply be itemised and documented, and with distance.

Image: Mickey Smith, Collocation No. 17 (VOGUE), 2010, Archival inkjet prints on canvas, Thirty 8 – 18 inch panels, 60 x 356 inches, Edition of 3

Mickey Smith’s previous exhibitions Volume (2008) and Believe You Me (2010) have looked at books and periodicals as the storage of knowledge, and a representation of the cultural attitudes to literature.

Image: Mickey Smith, 159, 2012, Archival pigment print on paper, 21 x 14 inches, Edition 1/5

Mickey’s book Denudation is available to order now published by Invisible Exports Gallery and Hassla Projects.

Words by Stefan Nicolaou