This is only apparently real. Its artifice goes beyond the usual manipulation of shadows and light and the rendering of three dimensional objects on a two dimensional surface. Its suspect representation of what can be seen through the lens, which is framed in a way that is impossible for the eye to achieve, goes beyond the filter applied to that many windowed building. In short, it brings together elements of landscapes separated by hundreds of miles in a way that could not be achieved without the application of photomontage techniques. In doing so, it breaks the rules that govern Sheffield Patrol Group photographic projects, which insist on adherence to the production of straight black and white images, altered only (if at all) by recourse to the most basic editing techniques (auto correct, minimal cropping and straightening). But these rules are not written and they do not need to be acted upon or submitted to. Sheffield Patrol Group does not exist to tyrannise itself through arbitrary diktat. And what is truth, anyway? And what is reality?
The conjunction of these elements from pre-existing photographs represents a truth that could not otherwise be achieved. It is a truth about boundaries and the curation of desire. It is a comment on the value of what external agencies, which can’t be identified with certainty, present to us as desirable, regardless of what we think and feel, and it suggests a response we might take to these unwanted intrusions into the collective unconscious. It says, if you don’t want to live in a bright shiny building that is destined to degenerate into a monstrous and empty shack-castle, then all you need to do is refuse it. It joins together that which did not exist until recently, but now imposes itself on the mindscape with numbing arrogance, and that which did exist until recently, but which has been supplanted by lowest common denominator street art, which is all the rage in the corporately endorsed, template driven, urban regeneration projects that have sprung up like the fungal emanations of hideous diseases throughout the length and breadth of the country.
Both the building and the art works I speak of are emissaries of the inane, a reality more spurious than the unreal vision that is presented here in all of its questionable falsehood. The building is the central feature of the view from the Channelsea Path towards Stratford High Street and the wall is a detail from the white painted exterior of the former Henderson’s Relish factory on Upper Hanover Street in Sheffield before it was tarnished by the pretty patterns of the so-called street artists commissioned to make with the blue and orange emulsion. Ooh! Look at the trees and the moon and the cranes! Isn’t it clever? No. It isn’t clever. It isn’t even funny.