The gallery has broken from form in their hanging of the show, working closely with the artist and doing away with their standard wall texts. This kind of curating is right up my street. I tend to resent the glosses and explanations, vying with the artwork for my attention and advising me on its context and how to interpret it. I’m not sure this exhibition could succeed otherwise; the means of hanging the pieces is as much a part of the show as its constituent parts, and the absence of exposition means that the images and their subjects come to lay on top of one another in a visual palimpsest, each constituting – in some background way – our reaction to the next.
There’s an idea that what is most specific and intimate is the most universal, and Tillmans is a masterful story teller. By presenting his own, deeply subjective version of the world we all inhabit, he strives to present everyone’s. I’ve never seen the man whose straining neck is depicted in ‘Collum’, 2011, but the way I’m shown the image lets me imagine that I would have been struck by his posture, too. I didn’t travel to Chingaza with Juan Pablo and Karl, but I do understand Tillmans’ impulse to capture them prone on mossy rocks smoking roll ups. These are striking images, and their hanging by bulldog clips, without frames or the mediation of glass, bring the viewer one step closer to experiencing them as more than photographs.