Front Page: Playing and Reality in the work of E J Major

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Detail from Everyday In November 2015 © E J Major

In Everyday in November there is a strict methodology applied to Major’s working process. There is almost a cruel discipline to this which at times makes the work painful to view and one expects difficult to make. We bear witness to Major forcing herself to be photographed at a time of great emotional strain. We see her creative blocks and her emotional and psychological state during the production of the work.

Making Everyday in November (2015) also involved an arduous and time consuming process, freezing each frame of the film and separating it out for us to see presented on large contact sheets in exhibitions. There is an element of repetitive activity that lies behind the work which seems more resonant of much older forms of artistic production. Months of time have gone into it and it is an almost perverse use of more recent camera technology, taking something of speed back to still images. Yet this slowing of speed and movement and slippage between moving and still image is a recurrent interest in Major’s practice. It makes us as viewers slow down and take note, as well as literally slowing the movement of the film. Suddenly details and recurrent motifs that would have been background noise on a short film become visual statements, and gain greater significance.

This is an extract from a longer essay published on www.photomonitor.co.uk/2016/06/playing-reality-work-e-j-major/