Artist Talk: Luke Willis Thompson
Artist Luke Willis Thompson discusses his work autoportrait, a deeply affecting filmic study of grief that reflects the personal stakes of visual representation, exhibited at Chisenhale Gallery in 2017 and now on display at The Photographers' Gallery. He is joined in conversation by independent film and moving image curator Karen Alexander.
autoportrait is a silent 35mm film of Diamond Reynolds. In July 2016, Reynolds used Facebook Live to broadcast the moments immediately after the fatal shooting of her partner Philando Castile by a police officer during a traffic-stop in Minnesota, United States. Reynolds’ video circulated widely online and amassed over six million views.
In November 2016, Thompson established a conversation with Reynolds, and her lawyer, and invited her to work with him on the production of an artwork. Thompson wanted to make an aesthetic response that could act as a ‘sister-image’ to Reynolds’ video broadcast, which would break with the well-known image of Reynolds, caught in a moment of violence and distributed within a constant flow of news. In June 2017, Reynolds’ original video was played to a jury as evidence. Despite the abundance of visual information, the officer who killed Castile was acquitted of all charges. autoportait continues to reopen a question of the agency of Reynolds’ recording within, outside of, and beyond the conditions of predetermined racial power structures.
autoportrait is shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018.
£8/£5 members & concessions. Ticket holders are able to access the exhibition on the same day.
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