Tuesday, 2 September 2014

photography, always and again

ah well, it doesn't go away the photographic urge. but i slowed down alot with taking photographs recently, and used up 36 exposures over 6 months. i've been reading photographic theory and related fiction - lucy soutter, vilem flusser, victor burgin, w.g. sebald, jean baudrillard, ivan vladislavic. went to a great lecture about writing and imagery given by art historian james elkins


and attended an archives for the future conference


organised by mnemoscape 


at westminster university. i'm not sure to what end. trying to gather my thoughts about my approach and what exactly is interesting to me.
i got to here:

i have been making photographs for 20 years already. by now i have built up a personal archive which reflects the various visual interests that i have been engaged with over the years. i have used many different cameras, formats which are no longer in use, and formats which I continue to use including digital, 35mm analogue, and medium format. i am interested specifically in the photographʼs potential as a medium which can question itself and itʼs relations to memory making, itʼs relations to fact and fiction, itʼs potential as a narrative making device rather than thinking about itʼs function as a purely image making medium.

the photograph is intrinsically unstable, it is de-stabilised in both itʼs material form (in both analogue and digital techniques of production) and in its slippery relationship with the truth and meaning making. i have developed a distance to my own images which are, although sometimes personal and reflect a life lived, has allowed me to look at photographs in an analytical way. photographs are open to wide degrees of interpretation even if they fit into various photographic genres. photographs act as collective memory gathering and making devices, enabling people to project, reminisce and imagine. i am interested in photographs which enable open interpretations as to what each image means.

my photographs are domestic in nature, i call them domestic on purpose as i have never used them as a professional photographer would, they are not for reportage, they do not claim to document events, i have never made enlargements. the images themselves range from street photography, discarded items, domestic arrangements, natural scenes, journeys, toys, skies, friends, locations. i have never used a studio, i find things how they are. everyday objects found in places and spaces, incidental arrangements of how my space happens to be organised, other peopleʼs spaces, decay, the ordinary turned on its head. i am interested in the idea that the subjects of my photographs find me, and i them. (a typically baudrillardian idea)

i like to use a hands off approach to interpreting and working with images through writing, i look at the image and let the material and environmental circumstances that i intuit in the image lead me to a narrative or fragment of a narrative, this is based on remembering and recollecting the events that led up to the taking of the picture, or it might be completely made up. This generous function that a photograph has is something that intrigues me. i understand the photograph as a kinaesthetic device, enabling recall of material conditions and bodily sensations.

photographic image making is partly about an aesthetic impulse, partly about registering and recording daily events, and partly about imagined realities and futures. this gives a single image a huge potential for multiple interpretation and function. in 2011 i started a combining activity which led eventually to an ongoing participatory photography project called ʻthe combines projectʼ (www.thecombinesproject.com). in this combining process it is possible to disengage completely from the ideas of composition, photographic subject, and technique and treat images as interchangeable, democratic and freed from their functions as documents of truth or beauty.

so there it is, or some of it. it needs work. and time.

don't look away.