Stephen Gills beautiful images, which incorporate energy drinks as an integral part of their processing, capture this strange state of being at once driven and aqueous, simultaneously sweet and oh so bitter. The Best Before End series, memorialises the freewheeling Decline of the West: which, to paraphrase Alfred Jarry, the founding father of pataphysics, is best conceived of as a downhill bicycle race sponsored by a major-brand energy drink, in which all of the pursuit riders have the red head of the Minotaur.
The images were made in East London from where the drinks were also sourced. The colour negative films were part processed and soaked in energy drink, which caused image shifts and disruptions and softened the film emulsion. The softening allowed for manual stretching, moving, tearing and distortion of the layers of film emulsion to take place, and further manual shifts were added with a soft brush whilst the emulsion was still pliable.
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