I have a complicated relationship with the Photograph
"Its always about the Photograph."
Say this like you are screaming at your lover.
"Its always about YOU."
Of course what this really means is I want it to be about me. The Photograph that promises to speak about your glorious holiday, the brilliant golden sunset or that lush cappa-frappa cafe moment, always ends with a faded and somewhat flattened anti-climax.
Once the shutter comes down the photograph no longer speaks to the hedonistic notion of being in the moment. It becomes a story; a form of real-fiction with you a designated character. Fixed into resin or fused together by a series of pixels yours is a very different kind of fossilization. A visual echo ready to be interpreted a millennia from now. The difference being there is no hidden life code to tease out from under the plastic sheen, no DNA to reform flesh and blood. Instead our descendants will puzzle at our alien ways. Your story will be lost but hopefully the archivist will write a new one. Happy or sad, you can be guaranteed the photograph will disclose nothing. Paradoxical really given that much photography in the contemporary seems to feed a diet of perpetual presentism.
Insta is always NOW.
Might this urge to live in the Photograph be an attempt to make life meaningful.
Or beautiful. It is okay to admit this. The photograph is a picture with a frame and this most democratic of mediums invites everyone to become a storyteller, a director or a choreographer of their own lives.
This beautiful but confounding medium. Somedays I am seriously close to leaving YOU.
What is it that I am searching for? The viscerality of being, our extended - sometimes non-physical - spatial dimension, and finally the multi-layered meaning behind why I took the ****ing Photograph in the first place.
I am now experimenting with writing, film, the drawn line and other media to try and break away from this somewhat dysfunctional relationship.
A year obsessed with water.
Water becomes the motif for the photographic surface - glossy, reflective and flat. Like the Photograph the mirrored surface offers a window through to another dimension, the air of which we cannot breathe yet whose chemistry we cannot thrive without. Emerging from a liquid soup ours is a primordial memory held within flesh. The breaking of waters when our time is near provides a liquid passage from dependency to autonomy, floating free on a maternal tide.
Memory is tied to Time. Back to Then through to Now. Liquid vessels with serial images archived within. Water and Time this is our commonality.
In Spirewell an aborted birth, a religious submersion, a daily obsession and an untimely death are all misremembered.
I drag a finger through the mud and press the heel of my palm firm into the wetness forcing the earth upwards over the plastic surface. Rivulets run into pools, which run into torrents. I hear Noah sighing. The rain is incessant today. A Black sea rising. The Gods surge to claim new lands. Ancient pathways submerge forever. The surface breaks, water seeps in and I drown a little. Deep below the sediment shifts.