In the late 90s, Slater Bradley filmed a lepidopterist, a butterfly catcher, collecting in the field as well as at his home. The catcher's house is full of specimens: P. Clodius, P. Phoebus, E. Marcellus. He sticks his hand into a container of Quaker oats, and on pulling it out, a live butterfly appears, perched on his finger. He has hoarded and catalogued the winged creatures in a Nabakovian manner, filing them away in drawers and framing them to hang on walls. Surrounded by objects of beauty, eternally preserved, still, the man is alone.The butterfly catcher represents the paradox of the attainability of beauty accompanied by an ensuing melancholy at the unattainability of fulfillment.
Bradley has pulled these videos, including samples of a Laetitia Casta appearance on David Letterman and a soundtrack by the Replikants, from his archive. Shot when he was a young man, they are a dream, envisioning his future existence. Bradley foresaw a solitary life consumed by an artistic pursuit, to create objects of a perfect empathy. Here he has refashioned the material of his youth to re-capture a lost moment in time, a moment that has after several years, now manifested itself.