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Work / Photography

Photographer Theo Acworth channels Yves Klein and Fluxus as he falls off his bike

“The project started with a couple of images for a show I did at university called Riding Bikes into Hedges,” says photographer Theo Acworth. “A year later I came back to it and published the book.” The series of photographs show Theo cycling around Austria and, for want of a better description, intentionally stacking it. The series sees the photographer take a tumble in the stunning setting of the Austrian Alps or with the backdrop of the grandiose civic architecture of Innsbruck. “What I’m doing here is a natural impulse, like grabbing an electric fence or touching a ‘Don’t Touch’ sign. Sometimes you’ve just got to do it,” says Theo.

“The first images were taken on a medium format camera. I set up the shot and a friend had to open the shutter when they thought they would get the best shot,” says Theo. “From there I went on to use a digital camera and a timer.” The images are at once throwaway and in a long tradition of photographers leaving their wellbeing in question with the viewer for the sake of drama. “I suppose there is some influence of Yves Klein, Greg Lukas, The Art Guys and Dennis Darzacq in the work,” says Theo. “I was introduced to the work of the Fluxus group after making these images and I absolutely loved what I found. I’ve always enjoyed taking photographs but the driving force of all these artists was the first sort of movement or attitude that I really strongly identified with and felt enthused by. A lot of what they do is ultimately pointless but at the same time indescribably wonderful.”

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Theo Acworth: Austrian Antics

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Theo Acworth: Austrian Antics

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Theo Acworth: Austrian Antics

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Theo Acworth: Austrian Antics

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Theo Acworth: Austrian Antics

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Theo Acworth: Austrian Antics