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By Faith and Industry

Juxtaposing her own contemporary images with historical text, Oppenheim prompts us to reflect on the complex relationship between image and text, and creates a uniquely fluid portrait of the city across time.

The reels of two projectors start to spin. A short text appears on one side of a screen suspended in a darkened space. On the other, a series of images: a church in ruins, a public statue in a state of disrepair. In this project, Lisa Oppenheim takes as her starting point the captions produced by photographer Edward Chambre Hardman, who operated a studio in Liverpool between 1923 and 1965. Well-known as a portraitist, he also made landscapes and street photographs.

His prints and negatives have been stored in the Liverpool Record Office, accompanied by copious notes. Over time, researchers and archivists have added to these notes, expanding the original descriptions of the subjects photographed to construct almost a textual equivalent of the image. Working from these captions, travelling through the city, Oppenheim has recreated scenes that have changed or no longer exist.

The fluidity of filmic time allows for an intuitive, free interplay between past and present. As text and images appear on the screen, the words of a life lived confront the shapes, colours and sounds of the immediate present.

Monica Nunez

Project Credits

Supported by Mondriaan Foundation Royal Netherlands Embassy


16 September – 26 November 2006


28-32 Wood Street
L1 4AQ