Published to coincide with a major exhibition of Dryden Goodwin's work at The Photographer's Gallery, London, in September 2008, Cast brings together the new work featured in this exhibition - co-commissioned by the Gallery and Photoworks - with earlier works to explore the rich dialogues between drawing, photography and video that define Goodwin's hybrid practice.

The book’s title, Cast, has multiple resonances within Goodwin’s art: from casting a glance, a line or a spell to solidifying or encasing an object or defining the actors in a drama. Over the last ten years he has consistently focused on the human figure and the portrait form, the resulting work offering a speculative vision that considers the process of looking and representing, both in relation to what is experienced and what is seen. That this speculation is always fluid, that no one act of representation, no one point of description, can ever be finally resolved in time, is also the idea which drives the shifting relationships between different media and the layered nature of Goodwin’s work.

Often grounded in an experience of the city, Goodwin’s art wrestles with the continually changing nature of our contact with the people around us, both the well known – family and friends – and the anonymous, the strangers we pass on the street. His work marks an intense curiosity, a desire to know, and yet is always alive with ambiguities about what the act of making work might reveal or obscure. Similarly, his work suggests the tensions of a society where fear, suspicion and the ever-present technologies of surveillance increasingly infect the atmosphere of public space, and yet it might also be understood as optimistic, aspiring to forms of empathy and connectedness.

Cast extends these enquiries and their various collisions between drawing and photography. It includes new series of works such as Caul, Shapeshifter and Casting along with Cradle, a series continued from earlier works based on strangers photographed on the street at night. The book also takes further Goodwin’s practice of drawing and scratching onto the surface of the image, something at once intimate and invasive, a physical intervention that the artist also characterises as a way of ‘thinking into the photograph’ and into the stalled nature of photographic time.

Featuring essays by Steven Bode, Camilla Brown, David Chandler and an interview with the artist.

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