Blow Up. Monitoring Stephen Willats (part 7)
Stephen Willats came in to continue his documentation of the West London Social Resource Project today and his activities around documenting his work are an archiving masterclass.
When he first came in to document he brought in a medium format camera, a 35mm Leica SLR for slide film and a Leica digital SLR. He started photographing outside and methodically worked his way around mirroring a visitor’s journey around the exhibition.
Today he came back with black and white film for the medium format camera as he felt the mixed day light and artificial light was problematic in the colour slides he had processed. Digital photography and Photoshop have, to some degree, removed many of the difficulties of colour photography and the different qualities of light and colour balance from daylight (blue) , tugsten or halogen (yellow) or the green colour casts on slides caused by infrequent occillation from fluorescent tubes. These problems were all too familiar to CHELSEA space’s Donald Smith who was the photographer and editor of the Contemporary Art Slide Scheme (CASS), an archive of exhibiting activity in London from 1993-2003. Donald’s work on CASS was the subject of Lisa Le Feuvre’s contribution to the CHELSEA space 5th year anniversary exhibitions and events - Should I Stay Or should I Go where Lisa evoked the back catalogue of CASS and CHELSEA space in a show entitled Donald Smith’s Partial History of Exhibitions.
When Stephen Willats finished with his black and white photography he then moved on to a Super 8 camera and shot the exhibition as a movie. He also included artist and CHELSEA space Research Fellow, Barbara Elting in a few shots ” for scale” as he put it and for contemporaneity. CHELSEA space has learnt a lot from Willats immaculate archiving of his own activities and looks forward to seeing these documents included in some future Willats show or book.