Rebecca Wilton

b. 1979, Germany

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Rebecca Wilton, Kaufhaus, 2006
Rebecca Wilton, Kaufhaus, 2006

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Rebecca Wilton's large-scale photographs depict ordinary public places which have lost their glory and worldly purpose and now come across as odd, derelict remnants of history: hotels, libraries, swimming pools, restaurants, gas stations, villas and cottages. Wilton photographs these sites in the same style: with a clear and balanced composition that lends them an idea of objectivity or of the photographer's own alienation from her motives. Yet a strong harmony of colours contradicts the objective stance, and conveys a sense of material decay, which is strangely and morbidly attractive. A small contemporary female figure – the artist herself – is inserted as a discreet miniature into each image. The figure can be seen as a witness to the passing of time, or a symbol of modern human agency and desire towards lost narratives; overall, the ambivalence of the figure conveys a sense of empathy towards the locations and disturbs their foreignness.