Nick Scammell



Nick Scammell, Devourings (after Dürer), 2014

Arguably the finest achievement of Albrecht Dürer’s early years was The Apocalypse with Pictures, a set of fifteen woodcuts of scenes from the Book of Revelation, published in 1498. Apokalypsis (being the first word of the Book of Revelation, Koine Greek for ‘revelation’ or ‘unveiling’) takes Dürer’s print St. John Devouring the Book as an allegory of inspiration, mediation and originality. In his own hand the revelator transcribes the sacred words he is consuming, despite the certainty of infidelity. Perfection seems as distant, while the text itself warns against its corruption.

Apokalypsis intervenes, involving the physical movement of a printed image during scanning. Blending hand and machine, these actions variously fracture or extend the image, inviting slips and flaws revelatory of technological frailties, as well as the ambiguities inherent within analogue and digital processes of artistic creation.

These occupied images are rendered fields of possibility, with destruction and creation entangled. Arresting not instants but unfoldings, they create conditions for an interior immensity to emerge, conditions enabled by performing against protocol.

Here, touch is taken as a connection between the making of the digital scan and the analogue methods that created the print here appropriated. Thus, the finger bridges worlds: it drags the tangible image into the digital immaterial. Dürer’s hand draws the line of the hand of the saint – that of Apokalypsis extends it.

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Nick Scammell, Devourings (after Dürer), 2014

Nick Scammell’s practice cuts across photography and literature and frequently involves collaboration. Having curated and exhibited with the Goldsmiths-affiliated collective Crossing Lines, Nick recently completed an MA Photography at the London College of Communication. His ongoing collaborations include NYZ, recently profiled in the Photoworks Annual, and That Burning Field, a response to the writing of the American poet laureate, Charles Wright. Nick is also a founder member of the curatorial project After. He lives and works in London.

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