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Photograph of Julie Brown-Rrap by John Tranter. R72-2

Photograph of Julie Brown-Rrap, circa 1984–85, by John Tranter. R72-2

Phantoms

Think of the chambers of the human heart, or the two sides of a spinning coin; a marriage, a brother-and-sister, an old photograph torn in half to make a secret recognition device. The halves are similar, but not identical.
     This woman is an artist, and her brother is an artist. She wears men’s jeans, a black leather belt with a chrome buckle, and a black plastic technical watch. She emblazons the front of her body with the image of ‘The Ghost Who Walks’.
     In her art, she makes huge photographic prints and then subjects them to the violent disfigurement of oil paint, the tool and sign of the male artist hero. Ikonomachy, the clash and struggle of image systems.
     She stares at the camera, through which we imagine the silent collective gaze of an audience. The lens is made up of four pieces of glass cut like jewels on a diamond lathe to a formula of complex mathematical curves. One side of this crystal eye looks out at the world, at the flickering shafts of light and movement, the sounds of passing cars and laughter.
     The other side glances briefly into a tiny darkened chamber at a blank piece of film.