fLIP Magazine / Online Feature

Chasing Shadows

by Anne Clements


These images were inspired by film noir detective stories like The Big Combo and Panic in the Streets. I was trying to reproduce the noir world feeling of virtuoso contrasts between light and shadow. The aim was to show the assymetry, angularity, verticality and the high angles which are important compositional elements for noir thrillers. I chose the locations because stairs and staircases in noir create images of entrapment and anticipate moments of doom. I experimented with text to bring out the detective story element.

The idea to use hand written text across the photos was inspired by a Dutch conceptual artist called Bas Jan Ader living in California. He did a black and white photographic series called ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ in 1973. Bas Jan Ader had himself photographed during a lonely night time walk from the hills of Los Angeles down to the sea. He wrote lines from a song ‘I’ve been Searching’ across a series of nine photos. He drowned at sea in 1975 continuing the final part of his conceptual voyage ‘In search of the Miraculous’ by yacht and has become a cult figure.



On the theme of INCOGNITO, Spring 2012