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Stephen Gill
Best Before End

Photographs by Stephen Gill

Text by Will Self

Design by Melanie Mues

Nobody / Archive of Modern Conflict , 2014

First edition

Clothbound hardcover

72 pp., 43 color illustrations

265 x 362 mm

ISBN 978-0-9575369-5-1

Item #0334

1.080 0334 Sold Out

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by Laia Abril, Blake Andrews, Cristina de Middel

The series Best Before end is an attempt to make a series of images that somehow reflect and encompass the intensity of inner city life through not solely exercising photography to depict a chosen subject, in this case part of the image content itself plays a role in creating the images making a more direct physical presence in the image itself. The images were made in East London from where the drinks were also sourced. The colour negative films were part processed and soaked in energy drink, which caused image shifts and disruptions and softened the film emulsion. The softening allowed for manual stretching, moving, tearing and distortion of the layers of film emulsion to take place, and further manual shifts were added with a soft brush whilst the emulsion was still pliable. - Stephen Gill

Stephen Gills beautiful images, which incorporate energy drinks as an integral part of their processing, capture this strange state of being at once driven and aqueous, simultaneously sweet and oh so bitter. TheBest Before End series, memorialises the freewheeling Decline of the West; which, to paraphrase Alfred Jarry, the founding father of pataphysics, is best conceived of as a downhill bicycle race sponsored by a major-brand energy drink, in which all of the pursuit riders have the red head of the Minotaur. For myself, Im way out in front of them and pedalling HARD. - Will Self

"(...) a sublime surreal book narrative of an aqueous collective anxiety." Laia Abril

"Originality has rarely seemed so accessible, yet beyond easy reach." Blake Andrews

"Best Before End is perhaps my favorite Stephen Gill book so far." Cristina de Middel

Read more:

ASX (review), Paper Journal (interview)

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