Jon Spencer’s installation is part of a larger piece of work produced for the shop windows of Rodić Davidson Architects. This was on display at their studio on Bury Place, Bloomsbury in central London in 2020 and 2021.
The overall project is born out of a fascination with a series of postcards offering highly colourful ‘night time’ views of seaside resorts. The artist was intrigued by the tangible sense of unreality to these images, the nature of which was understood by the realisation that they were in fact daytime photographs reworked to appear as night-time views. Searching out further examples revealed the unexpected fact that the postcard publishers had often also published the original photograph, unadulterated, as a daytime view.
In the night-time view an unknown retoucher has created their own particular, often garish and sometimes peculiar vision of a nocturnal scene. Windows glow, street lamps are set ablaze, festoons appear, shadows vanish or change direction and almost always a silvery moon is added to the sky.
The centrepiece of the installation are 3 layered prints; where the daytime and night-time views are printed in turn onto perspex with a third layer of solid white ink inbetween. Lit only from the front, the daytime image alone is readable, while backlighting the print reveals the night-time image beneath. This backlighting is faded in & out creating a transition between the two images, allowing the fictional view to appear & disappear gradually; as if as the sun sets and rises again. As the daytime view remains partially visible when the night-time view shows through, aspects which have been removed from the nocturnal view remain present but faded. People and vehicles are turned into ghosts.
Read more about the project on Jon’s site here: jonspencer.co.uk/By-the-Light-of-a-Silvery-Moon