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Falling Down Series

Teresa Hubbard,Alexander Birchler, 1996


  • Photography


Teresa Hubbard,Alexander Birchler


C-print photograph




80 x 120 cm

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A book falls, a teacup slips, a handful of money drops. In each instance, the camera has arrested a moment where gravity takes over the hold of an object. Created during a residency at the Yukon Arts Centre in 1995 by the Swiss/American artist duo Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, Falling Down is a series of eight photographs that appear like snapshots, but are highly choreographed, constructed accidents. Utilizing the same compositional tool for each image, Hubbard and Birchler first manually suspend the selected object on strings or supports before staging the actor framed in such a way that leaves their identity undisclosed. A rear projection screen in the background and cinematic lighting effects add to the fabrication of the image. Unnerving in their artificiality, these photofictions subvert the medium’s propensity towards capturing the real. The performative acts recorded in Falling Down seem to be seized from a continuum, leaving their narrative in an indeterminable state without beginning or end. This enigmatic quality challenges our perceptions; for Hubbard and Birchler, this is in an effort to discover “how a moment can capture the camera.”