artist / participant

press release

Standing still is a series of 116 photographs that explores Simryn Gill's interest in the passage of time and the evocation of place or in her words 'a place in time...[where there is]...No way forward, no way back.' Gill's words encapsulate the spirit of these photographs: buildings and environments captured in a photographic moment, a snapshot of time, that bridges past and present in literal and metaphorical terms.

Standing still was an ambitious undertaking. Gill travelled through Malaysia between 2000 and 2003 photographing debilitated buildings, deserted apartments, mansions and even mini towns. The series is reminiscent of Gill's other photographic tableaux, Dalam (2001), which was a collection of 258 photographs of the interiors of Malaysian homes (and exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2002). In contrast to that series, however, Gill has stepped outside and back into the environment, focusing her camera outward to remote buildings that have less trace of human presence and intervention. In Dalam, traces of life are palpable despite the spaces being devoid of people. In Standing still, buildings are empty and decrepit, sometimes overgrown with so much greenery they are indistinguishable from their environment. Life has left these buildings and time is passing through them.

Simryn Gill lived in Malaysia, India, Britain, Adelaide, and Singapore before arriving in Sydney in 1996. She has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally, including participating in the Biennale of Sydney 2002, Berlin Biennale 2001, Flight Patterns at Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art 2000, Asia Pacific Triennial 1999, Cities on the Move at various venues in Europe and Asia, and Transculture at the 1995 Venice Biennale. She was also included in the curated book project Fresh Cream: contemporary art in culture : 10 curators, 10 writers, 100 artists. In addition to this she has had numerous solo projects including a survey show which toured the UK, at ArtPace in Texas, Kiasma Museum in Helsinki and UC Berkeley Art Museum, United States.

Standing still was acquired for the Art Gallery of New South Wales collection by funds provided by the Photography Collection Benefactors Program in 2004.

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Simryn Gill "Standing still"