The title suggests something to do with a movie and the artist confesses to ‘a secret narrative’. She has set the stage and allowed a loose, almost unrecognisable story to take place, but it is for the viewer to ponder and guess at the complex, hidden plots...
Sweet-faced youths roam lonely still landscapes hinting at a romantic yet melancholy life. Combinations of one, two or three people appear and an almost soap opera scenario could be taking place - in one image someone has been softly jilted from the threesome... There might be risk, jealousy or revenge in the ‘frozen moments’ illustrated. A lack of interaction between the parties is evident in these minor melodramas that might be interpreted as our contemporary attitude towards sentimental love and romance.
The scenes take place in what are clearly New Zealand interiors and landscapes - which could almost be NZ Tourist Board scenes - that is until a closer scrutiny is made. The lush and ‘almost cheesy’ waterfalls and ‘too green’ dense bush are settings for ‘the Stand-ins’, who are dwarfed by nature’s hugeness, composed in uncomfortable, almost awkward poses yet oblivious of another drama being unfolded. Here, the rich colour and intense detail of the photographs illustrate potentially sinister interactions between nature and human interference. Once treasured garden plants invade the native bush; there is a mowed lawn in a west Auckland ‘native’ reserve; bright pink lilies with toi toi; ‘Wandering Willie’ begins to take over...
The scenarios are treated like illustrative commercial shoots and photographed with that same ‘too perfect’ aesthetic. The direct communicative values and clean simple rendering make the images deliberately non-exclusive in the manner of TV ads.
→ Stand-ins for a deviant nature, New Zealand Herald, 01-05-2003
→ Greta Anderson: The Stand-ins, 2003, exhibition card