Close Your Eyes (another double II), 2010 | Gareth McConnell

Edition of 100
Digital c-type print
Fuji Flex super gloss
48.5 x 60.5 cm / 19 x 24 in
Signed & numbered on reverse

Cover image of Close Your Eyes

Close Your Eyes was selected by the New York Times Magazine and American Suburb X as one of the top photo books of 2014.

This price is for print only. Info / photos of book for context only. Book can be bought here

Close Your Eyes is a frenzied reworking of the accumulated archive of photographer Gareth McConnell. An onslaught of kaleidoscopic imagery fuses portraits he took of rave-goers in Ibiza with hyper-real, vivid scenes of the sun rising as the night bleeds into the morning. We see bleached out crowds appearing like faceless specters dancing en mass, and figures bursting into light as if in symbolic emancipation. Punctuating the book are various examples of paraphernalia found by McConnell relating to the Zen mystic Osho, who gained an international following and whose people are said to have experimented with Ecstasy and taken it into clubs in Ibiza for the first time. Other found imagery in the book references a number of key moments in recent British history from the Battle of the Beanfield to the London Riots of 2011.

Close Your Eyes is a personal political piece – a frustrated meditation on the nature of human movement and occurrence, an embodiment of the power of mass communion in its many forms, and the delirious but bittersweet pleasure of losing oneself to hedonism from the view of someone who saw it from within. As an object, the book is an immersive experience, galvanized with a primal energy that distills the raw energy of the rave, it’s rapture and it’s ecstasy. Glitches and repetition as figures emerge and withdraw into abstraction see the book follow a current similar to what one would have found in those raves and we find ourselves moving through it charged with the same raw energy – rhythm, pulse, rave, repeat.

Joanna Cresswell