Uncaptioned image.
Uncaptioned image.

Mike Nelson

Untitled, 2013


Untitled, 2013 is a photographic print from a double exposed negative.

The original photograph shows Nelson's close friend and collaborator Erlend Williamson, who died suddenly in a mountain climbing accident in October 1996. Williamson is pictured here a few months earlier, in December 1995, assisting Nelson on his first show at Matt's Gallery, TRADING STATION ALPHA CMa. Nelson and Williamson would often help each other at that time with their respective works.

The double exposure is the result of the film's unwitting re-exposure in 1998 while Nelson was travelling down the edge of Tibet, from Lanzhou in Inner Mongolia through Gansu and Sichuan to Chengdu — the film had been wound back into its spool half-shot and the record of images taken was dislodged, so the film was used as new. During this trip Nelson repeatedly sighted the ace of spades playing card — seven times in as many days — which in his superstition he took as a harbinger of death and doom. It was only some years later when he developed the film — it was left so long due to financial constraints — that he realised he had double exposed it, layering images from China on top of images of the fabrication of TRADING STATION ALPHA CMa. This photo of Williamson was the last image Nelson took of his friend before his death, and had remained undeveloped within the canister for two years before being briefly re-exposed during the journey. Nelson describes this discovery of the image of Williamson as ‘a genie, of sorts, unleashed from the magic lamp.' The double exposed film has influenced Nelson's later works, including Double negative (The Genie), 2014, shown as part of the exhibition Amnesiac Hide at The Power Plant in Toronto. Double negative (The Genie) combined blown-up photocopies of ace of spades playing cards with text and images from an unrealised artist book. The ever enlarging images were confused by the degradation and imperfections caused by the malfunctions in the seven ageing office photocopiers used to produce them, creating a ghost story that is told through a near defunct piece of technology.

Each print is supplied with a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

A bespoke framing service is available.

For further information or to purchase a framed edition please contact info@mattsgallery.org or call 020 8067 3842.

Print: Black and white photographic print
Paper: Ilford Multigrade Fibre Gloss
Edition: 50 (plus 5 artist's proofs)
Paper dimensions: 255mm (w) x 210mm (h)
Image dimensions: 230mm (w) x 188mm (h)
Price: £210 inclusive of VAT unframed
P&P: £13 (one unframed, UK only)
Contact us for overseas purchases