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Home Sweet Home: works from the Peter Fay collection
11 October – 18 January 2004

Ken BOTTO | Deep shadows | 1983
Ken BOTTO
Stockton California USA 1937
Deep shadows 1983
Type C photograph
38.2 X 57.2 cm

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PF I was travelling through the United States and had stopped off in San Francisco, and there was an art fair on at the hotel I was staying in

PF I was travelling through the United States and had stopped off in San Francisco, and there was an art fair on at the hotel I was staying in. So, I thought ‘Oh, I’ll have a look through here’ and was aware that most of the stuff there was way out of my price range, but that’s an interesting way of being able to look too, and I went into this room, and in the bathroom and in the toilet every spare inch was taken up with stuff being displayed.

There were these couple of photographs, this particular one showing the Titanic being attacked by a shark in a fishbowl, and I thought it was extraordinary.

I just loved it; it was just so wacky and wild. And it was so inexpensive. This was model-making being photographed with a rather savage dimension to it. There was menace, and play, and threat, and harmlessness all in that one moment.

And within the dynamic of the photograph, which of course stops things dead, the great sense of energy and ongoing drama continues. This is like a kid’s nightmare, and it combines all of our own senses of ‘shark’, especially with the Australian dynamic, drowning at sea, in peril…  all of those things.

DH That’s right, it really has the feeling… you see the shark… it’s as if it’s waiting for the Titanic to go down.

PF All that food.