Paul Johns

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1951

A Perfect Childhood

  • Presented by the artist, 2009
  • Photograph
  • 1017 x 1235mm
  • 2009/048
  • 2002

The past is the subject of this photograph by Paul Johns – as it is the subject of all photographs. A photograph exists in the present, but what is photographed is immediately and always the past. Rather than reconstruct a specific memory, Johns’s photograph alludes to the construction of memory itself – partial, hallucinatory, inconclusive and often pieced together afterwards from photographs. The rabbit’s head somehow suggests the fevered vision of a dream, or perhaps the White Rabbit from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – always late and anxiously running to catch up.

(Now, Then, Next: Time and the Contemporary, 15 June 2019 – 8 March 2020)