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Double Exposures [2012-2015]

Performance as Photography | Photography as Performance

Visit the project website to watch interviews with all the collaborating artists and access further resources.

Screen Shot 2018-10

Double Exposures is a new collaborative venture between Manuel Vason and forty of the most visually arresting artists working with performance in the UK.

Ten years after his first, groundbreaking book, Exposures, Vason has produced another extraordinary body of work, which sets out new ways of bridging performance and photography.

For Double Exposures, Vason has worked with two groups of artists, using two distinct types of collaboration, to produce a series of double images.

Artists who had previously worked with Vason were invited to create two images, one of their own practice and another, where they took on the role of the photographer, shaping an image with Vason’s body. A second group of new collaborators were invited to create a performance, which could be captured in two photographs. All the images exist as doubles – pairs – diptychs.

In photography, a ‘double exposure’ can be accidental or deliberate. Both types permeate Double Exposures, making it Manuel Vason’s most ambitious project to date.

Double Exposures is edited by David Evans and includes an interview with Helena Blacker and commissioned essays by David Bate, David Evans, Dominic Johnson, Lois Keidan, Alice Maude-Roxby, Adrien Sina, Chris Townsend and Joanna Zylinska.

Artists featured in Double Exposures: Lucille Acevedo-Jones & Rajni Shah, Katherine Araniello, Oreet Ashery, Ron Athey, Franko B, Julia Bardsley, Dickie Beau, Ansuman Biswas, Nicola Canavan, Marisa Carnesky, Giovanna Maria Casetta, Brian Catling, Marcia Farquhar, Ernst Fischer, Eloise Fornieres, Mat Fraser, Hugo Glendinning, Helena Goldwater, Helena Hunter, David Hoyle, Iona Kewney, Noëmi Lakmaier, jamie lewis hadley, Stacy Makishi, Alastair MacLennan, Mad For Real (Cai Yuan & Jian Jun Xi), Rita Marcalo, Michael Mayhew, Nando Messias, Mouse, Martin O’Brien, Sinéad O’Donnell, Harold Offeh, Florence Peake, Áine Phillips, Joshua Sofaer, the vacuum cleaner, The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein, Elvira Santamaria Torres, Aaron Williamson and Alexandra Zierle & Paul Carter.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and partnered by the Live Art Development Agency. Manuel Vason is kindly supported by Marina Goncharenko.

‘Vason truly collaborates with his performance colleagues. His work debunks the traditional binary of photographer/model, and instead gives equal creative agency to each individual participating in the experiment. By framing Vason’s images as a truly collective, democratic work, viewers are encouraged to unpack complicated issues of authorship, ownership, credit, and criticism.’

Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Performance Artist, Double Exposures’ back cover endorsement, 2014

‘Vason’s collaborative photographs are invitations— communicative acts that call on us to pursue intersubjective relations with alterity. Viewers are enjoined to move beyond themselves – beyond a libidinal imaginary stripped by mass media — towards singular formations. Through their bold performativity and publication, the singularities constellated nonetheless posit and indeed create community.’

Jonathan Beller, Professor, Humanities and Media Studies, Pratt Institute, New York, Double Exposures’ website endorsement, 2014

‘Bliss I had not seen Michael Mayhew since the mid 1980s. That was my loss, not his. Until opening Manuel Vason’s luscious Double Exposures that is. He looks younger, but is still on fire. He had played one of the arsonists for me, beautifully, in Max Frisch’s prescient play, The Fireraisers, back then. And now, he reaches out towards me, as I turn the page, and then turn back. The apparatus of the camera, in Manuel’s hands, has been lying in wait, in preparation for this moment (apparare: to prepare). Vilem Flusser would have us believe, in his philosophy of photography, that the apparatus ‘sharpens its teeth’ in readiness for photography. Well here it has sprung. And from a death mask Michael faces up to us from the grass, in bliss.’

Alan Read, Director Performance Foundation, Professor of Theatre, King’s College London, Double Exposures’ website endorsement, 2014

‘Photography stages what it records; and subjects perform on that stage. In this age of the complicit auto-branding of the ‘Selfie’, it’s a relief to be reminded that the self and the camera are less knowable than we might think. In this book Manuel Vason’s collaborative photographs along with a range of nimble writers reopen for us all the uncertainties and possibilities, the trapdoors and escape hatches that make the self and the camera such wild companions.’

David Campany, Writer, Curator and Artist, Double Exposures’ website endorsement, 2014

‘The historical relationship between photography and performance is complex and fraught. Initially, photographs of performers were portraits. Later, photography became the primary means of documenting performances, thus allowing them to exist beyond the evanescent moment. In such cases, the photograph is often considered as a secondary text, a reproduction of an “original” event. But photography has also emerged as a space in which performances can take place, and there is now a substantial history of photographs that document performances that happened only in the photograph itself.

Manuel Vason is clearly aware of the many forms the relationship between photography and performance has taken, and his work is informed by all of them. Indeed, he refuses to allow his work to fall into one or another of the received categories but stakes out territories on the borderlines between them. Distinctive to his work, besides the ability to produce ravishing images, is the fact that his photographs do not self-effacingly document other artists’ performances but are themselves collaborative works. Double Exposures is his latest venture along these lines, a project that sees him working in new ways with performers with whom he has collaborated before, and emerging from behind the camera to appear as a performer himself.’

Philip Auslander, Professor at School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology, Double Exposures’ website endorsement, 2014

‘Exploring a breadth of body shapes, shocking scenes and humorous diptychs, Vason’s work creates an exciting new language of the most fleeting of art forms.’

Amelia Abraham, Commissioning Editor, ID-Vice magazine, Online Review, January 2015

The Double Exposures publication was launched in different venues and accompanied by a series of symposium, artist’s talk, live interviews and discussion.

Double Exposures was presented:

– at the Photographers’ Gallery in London in November 2014.

– at the Anatomy Museum as part of King’s College London in November 2014.

– at the Leeds Art Gallery as part of the Compass Live Art Festival in November 2014.

– at the Tate Britain in London in February 2015.

– at the Arnolfini Galley in Bristol as part of the In Between Time Festival in February 2015.

– at the Grace Exhibition Space in New York in April 2015.

– at the Mobius Gallery in Boston in April 2015.

– at the Defibrillator Gallery in Chicago in April 2015.

– at the Human Resources Gallery in Los Angeles in April 2015.

– at the SF Camerawork Gallery in San Francisco in May 2015.

– at the Arnolfini Gallery (this time presented as video projection with voice over of the artists involved as part of a program curated by the Live Art Development Agency) in February 2017.

[ Double Exposures Teaser – Video Animation and Design: – Video Audio: excerpt from Mapa by Murcof ]


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