About the artwork

In Beating Time, Movement of the Hand, artist Sam Contis crops and recombines a series of photographs by iconic American photographer Dorothea Lange (1895-1965). Loosening the images from their original contexts, Contis creates a singular, sequential study of gesture.

The work references 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s movement studies. While Muybridge sought to disclose truths previously invisible to the human eye, Contis explores the ways in which the recontextualisation of images can reveal unnoticed truths and generate new meanings.

Beating Time, Movement of the Hand was commissioned by Photo Australia and the Metro Tunnel Creative Program for PHOTO 2021.

About the artist

Living and working in California, Sam Contis explores legacy and contemporary resonance in photography of the past. She recently exhibited at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Her work was included in Being: New Photography at MoMA, New York and Masculinities: Liberation through Photography at the Barbican Art Gallery, London. Contis' work has been collected by a number of prestigious art museums including the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, and MoMA and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Her most recent book, Day Sleeper, a reimagining of the work of Dorothea Lange, was published by MACK in 2020.

Photography by James Henry

Barry Street, February 2021 to April 2022