The Prospect of Immortality
A rare photographic insight into the international cryonics community.
The result of five year’s unprecedented access and international investigation, Murray Ballard offers an amazing photographic insight into the practice of cryonics: the process of freezing a human body after death in the hope that scientific advances may one day bring it back to life. Premiering at Impressions Gallery, this is Murray Ballard’s first major solo show.
Ballard’s images take the viewer on a journey through the tiny but dedicated international cryonics community, from the English seaside retirement town of Peacehaven; to the high-tech laboratories of Arizona; to the rudimentary facilities of Kriorus, just outside Moscow. Worldwide there are approximately 200 ‘patients’ stored permanently in liquid nitrogen, with a further thousand people signed up for cryonics after death.
Whilst members have often been ridiculed for their views, Ballard takes an objective stance, allowing the viewer to consider the ethics of the practice, and to decide whether members are caught up in a fantasy world or are actually furthering genuine scientific innovation. Alongside fascinating representations of the technical processes, Ballard sensitively portrays the people involved, offering a human dimension to his account of this 21st century attempt to conquer the age-old quest for immortality.
An Impressions Gallery touring exhibition curated by Anne McNeill
Murray Ballard (b.1983) is a British photographer born and based in Brighton, UK. He graduated from the University of Brighton in 2007 with a first-class degree in Photography. The following year he was selected for Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed 08 - the annual showcase of work by ‘the most promising recent graduates’ at The Photographers’ Gallery, London. From 2008 he assisted Magnum photographer Mark Power for several years whilst continuing to work on his own commissions and self-initiated projects.
In 2011 the British Journal of Photography recognised him as ‘an emerging photographer of note’, following his debut solo show The Prospect of Immortality at Impressions Gallery, Bradford. The exhibition went on to tour both nationally and internationally. Venues include: Side Gallery, Newcastle; Format Festival, Derby; Breda Photo Festival, Netherlands, SI Fest, Italy and the DongGang International Photography Festival, South Korea. In 2016 GOST Books published an extensive monograph of the work, which was shortlisted for the Paris Photo Aperture First Book Award.
Our visitors say...
“Congratulations on presenting us a subject that is not easy to access. Expert photography.”
“Great exhibition, loved that you could scan the QR codes to find out much more after the gallery experience was over. Thank you.”
Artist Talk with Murray Ballard
1 hour 2 minutes
Recorded at Impressions Gallery, Bradford, 16 July 2011.
Buy the book
Full colour 185 page hardback, cloth-bound publication. Published by GOST, 2016.
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