We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 In line with NSW Health advice, the Art Gallery is temporarily closed to the public. Stay updated on our social media.

Title

It is Midnight, Dr._ _, image 2 , from the series It is Midnight, Dr._ _

2016

Artist

Jane Burton

Australia

1966 –

  • Details

    Date
    2016
    Media category
    Photograph
    Materials used
    type C photograph
    Edition
    2/3
    Dimensions
    42.0 x 50.0 cm image; 60.3 x 58.6 x 4.9 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed verso frame u.r, black ink "J Burton".
    Dated verso frame u.l., black ink "2016".

    Credit
    Gift of Bill Bowness 2020. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    173.2020.1
    Copyright
    © Jane Burton

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Jane Burton

    Works in the collection

    5

    Share
  • About

    In Jane Burton’s photographs, female sexuality becomes a cipher. Her subjects appear vulnerable and exposed but also possess an insistent agency. Faceless bodies lie languid in eerie landscapes, unsettling the viewer with their ambiguity. Are the women dead? Or are they in ecstasy? With a tonal sensibility derived from early photography and film noir and a penchant for motifs that reanimate gothic narratives and 19th century spiritualism, Burton de-contextualises her scenes. We are unable to place them historically – instead they read as haunting hallucinations or fragments from a dream.

    The apparent inaccessibility of Burton’s imaginary worlds is further enhanced by her frequent use of compositional devices that force the viewer to look through a frame. Whether she uses the grid of a window, the branches of a tree or the dark edges of a vignette, Burton turns the viewer into a voyeur.

    The frames we look through in Burtons’ 2016 series It is Midnight, Dr.__ are the sprockets of a strip of photographic film. Visible in the final print, these sprockets remind us of the act and event of photography. Aware of the fabrication of the image, we begin to question its staging. Are the women victims or are they performing for the camera? The photograph of the empty stage included in the series, and among those on offer, poetically tips the balance on this debate.

Other works by Jane Burton

See all 5 works