Cell is no straightforward photograph. Rather than portraying real environments, Anne Hardy painstakingly constructs entirely invented spaces, using found and second-hand items to generate narratives and create unnerving interiors. Here, glaring artificial light illuminates a disquieting scene: a forest of coloured cabling and lightbulbs hangs from the ceiling above a straw-strewn room, walled with mattresses sprouting further bulbs. A small walkway leads to a doorway framed in red, with a telephone at the entrance and tally marks daubed in white as if to count the passing days. The title, as with all her works, leaves things open, suggesting that this den could be related to a political cell or a peculiar monastic retreat. Hardy’s precise control over her artificial image recalls the photography of Jeff Wall or Thomas Demand, but her work has its own dark flavour and its origin is in a performative process leading to the creation of a place that happens to be an image, as opposed to the execution of a pre-visualized photograph. Although she builds her scenes in actuality, they are only ever seen through the mediating gaze of the camera. Every detail contributes to an uncanny synthetic vision, performing reality as something inherently imagined.