Time & Motion in Still Photography #1

How can a single, static shot convey time? As psychologist and photography critic Halla Beloff wrote, ”A photograph is so absolutely still and yet it is produced from what is alive and lively. The most tranquil, lonely landscape is completely dynamic compared with a photograph of it.”


From the series, North East South West © Hannah Guy

It is “the point at which the still appears to become a moving image” that drew British photographer Hannah Guy’s interest. By combining multiple exposures with a series of animations, Guy’s twinned projects entitled “Staccato” and “North South East West”, attempt to convey nature’s temporality through images. Guy’s multiple exposure photographs bring to mind both nature’s cyclical history and its more recent, disturbing disappearance. The ghost-like tree can be seen as a loss and a vision of the future. Guy’s animations provide a representation of the real-time “life” of nature through the paradoxical lens of a stitched together, black and white photographs. In her hypnotic videos, the trees come to life, while also remaining enclosed on our computer screens. Although each video is short, they feel endless at the same time.

Guy’s work is subtle and multi-faceted. By working in multiple, interrelated mediums, she raises new questions and contradictions, while bringing us towards some new vision of her subjects.

—Alexander Strecker

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