.. .. 86 (2020)

5,000mm x 240mm PDF

"We are asked to fall in love with an object through its image. Through its image we are infatuated.

Because of this image on the printed page, or the backlit screen, we devote our desire. Our desire culminated through accumulated digits and paper notes.

With no means of measurement, the object in the picture is dis-embodied, and it can become as large or small as the viewer imagines it to be in their mind.

But their mind is emptied, then filled with desire.

The object could be overwhelmingly fulfilling, or, possess all the drama of a kitchen sink. Instead we find another way to subside our desire.

In a photograph I can have this or that object, in fact, every object.

We know that satisfaction is always short-lived; desire is never fulfilled.

It is hard to admit that objects do not fulfil desire, they only temporarily subjugate it."

This written piece interlaces my words with those of the writer and artist David Bate, from his book ‘Photography: The Key Concepts’, chapter 6: ‘The Rhetoric of Still Life’.

Bate, D. (2009). ‘Photography: The Key Concepts’. 1st ed. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

The work ‘.. .. 86’ combines primary and secondary imagery in experimental practice. Through c-type printed computer screen-grabs, cardboard cut-outs and appropriated photographs, the work fantasises ownership, analysing the fetishisation of objects, and critiques our consumer culture. 

 

Exploring advertising imagery, the work considers the gaps between printed pages, or backlit screens, amalgamating the format of conventional book pages into one spread. Presented in continuation, the viewers interaction is forced, necessitating the action to scroll through the long piece as if it were a bespoke webpage, that will neither tell you a story, nor sell you a product.

 

‘.. .. 86’ borrows text from David Bate’s book ‘Photography, The Key Concepts’ (2009), and images from Paterson’s 1979 publications ‘The Book of the Darkroom’ and ‘The Book of Photography’, with re-workings from Paterson's website: patersonphotographic.com. The re-purposed images are credited to the photographers at the end of the work in the index, where the subject focus of '.. .. 86' is subtly indicated. 

 

I sincerely thank David Bate for his influential words, and the Paterson photographers for their beautiful, beautiful images. This work would not have been possible without them.