The Unreliable Narrator is a staple of 20th Century fiction and indeed a cliche of the 21st. But the stories pictures tell us have become less nuanced, and uncertainty has become one-dimensional, all in order to shore up the self-confidence of what is the newly Unreliable Reader.
Three contemporary painters Utley, Chalkley, Williams: each of them occupies a position not on a spectrum of narrative partiality, matching to a greater or lesser extent what we imagined we’d be seeing, but each stand on a tangent upon a circle, a circle of concern for the human condition, concern for everyday life… but whose? All of us in turn bring our own unease, are disquieted from our own viewpoint.
These artists re-introduce us to the anxiety of identity and the bold circumspection that characterised photography in the 70′s. Their figuration is on deliberately shaky ground – they give only uneasy answers to the questions of what/where/who we expect from figuration’s reportage. Yo lo vi!