Vee Speers - Photographs London Friday, May 15, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acte2galerie, Paris

  • Literature

    Dewi Lewis Publishing, Vee Speers: The Birthday Party, 2008, p. 45

  • Catalogue Essay

    In this most recent project, inspired by her daughter's birthday party, Speers observed the children playing at being adults, and imagined what characters might be created if role play were pushed to imaginative extremes.
    But what kind of party is this? There is no cake, balloons, and the children seem strangely laconic and threatening…Posing for the camera is almost ‘second nature’ and the children are only too aware of the power of their performance…The apparent timelessness of the work is crucial to these portraits. Often it is the past that is evoked by photography and certainly there is much of that here. The washed out colour palate is reminiscent of faded seaside postcards or nineteenth century hand-coloured prints. Much of the styling owes a debt to the decades around the Second World War and the aristocratic fashions of the 1930’s. The references to harlequins and clowns evoke the work of the itinerant photographers in Europe and America at the turn of the twentieth century, who captured the peripatetic professions of circus performers and the beautiful ‘freaks’ bound up in that life. There are even touches of the elegant 1950’s fashion still. But more striking than a sense of the past is the feeling of an apocalyptic and dystopian future reminiscent of films such as Blade Runner, Delicatessen, Children of Men and Mad Max.
    Susan Bright, ‘Le Petit Picaresque’, Vee Speers: The Birthday Party, 2008, pp. 5-7


Untitled #30 from The Birthday Party

Dye-destruction print.
90.2 x 72.1 cm. (35 1/2 x 28 3/8 in).
Signed in ink on a label accompanying the work. Number 6 from an edition of 8.

£4,000 - 6,000 

Sold for £6,250


16 May 2009, 3pm