Instagram Takeover: Hamish Gane

Hamish Gane took over R&J's Instagram page from the 22nd to 29th March 2021.

DAY ONE: Monday 22nd March

Much of my practice is concerned with photography and memory - predominantly explored through the optic of the family. In work such as 200 Seconds and Hard Cell, photography’s mnemonic standing is called into question.

In Hard Cell, I projected and re-photographed significant filmic moments from family super-8 archive, while in 200 Seconds, the leather case in which these cine films were stored for over twenty years is converted into a pinhole camera. 200 Seconds refers to the duration of a 50ft spool of Kodak Super-8 played at the standard rate of 18 frames per second, which is also the exposure time of each pinhole photograph.

Each photograph is made in the projected light of a film from the archive, contracting thousands of frames into one new image – a contrast to the digital proliferation of personal photographs and their distribution through social networking sites.


1-7: 200 Seconds

8-10: Hard Cell

DAY TWO: Tuesday 23rd March

Boreas was the Ancient Greek God of the North Wind; the ‘bringer of winter’ and the ‘father of rain’. In the classical doctrine of the ‘Four Humours’, Boreas is associated with the melancholy temperament. Made in Swansea, Berlin, Paris and Budapest, the images include recurring motifs such as birds, angels and abandonment; employing the transition from summer to winter as metaphor for melancholic reflection.

DAY THREE: Wednesday 24th March

White Magic on Black Friday – An American Dream Dialectic

The drawings in White Magic on Black Friday are by my partners father who is the protagonist of this work exhibited at Diffusion Cardiff in 2015. With my partners family's endorsement I reappropriated these sketches in the fictitious account of a pilgrimage he made to the Klondike mountains in Jack London’s footsteps. I only ever identify him as Gatsby.

Just as medieval society was balanced on God & the Devil, so ours is balanced on consumption & its denunciation. Though at least around the Devil heresies & black magic sects could organize. Our magic is WHITE. No heresy is possible any longer in a state of affluence. It is the prophylactic whiteness of a saturated society, a society with no history & no dizzying heights, a society with no myth other than itself.”

- Jean Baudrillard, The Consumer Society

In 1964 British newspapers reported that an artist had abandoned his full-time teaching post at a prestigious girls’ grammar school to take up a job as a dustman eschewing the materialist culture that defined the sixties in order to focus on his art practice. His insistence on wearing impractical white clothing on the job earned him the nickname Gatsby. He never relinquished his disdain for consumption & lived most of his life in relative parsimony becoming a scholar of Jack London with whom he shared fundamental beliefs - dialectically divided between essential socialist principles & powerful individualist drives. To celebrate his 60th birthday Gatsby planned a pilgrimage to Klondike Alaska where London had found his literary voice. Sadly he died quite suddenly of a stroke before he was due to leave & his body lay undiscovered for several days. In an ironic twist of fate his death occurred on Friday 29 Nov 2002 the day that annually USA celebrates materialism & fiercely encourages consumption - Black Friday. A poetic construction drawing on concepts of consumerism the American Dream & alchemy this work represents the liminal period between Gatsby's supposed death & the discovery of his body 3 days later during which his pilgrimage to Klondike was magically realised.