Photographs Also Die

Glass, Aluminium, Screen print, Pinpoint Spotlights, Coloured Gels
Each 1.4 x 1m, Unique (2023)

Photographs Also Die’, attempts an unbiased reading of a single photograph. The work acts as a distillation of a found image into text, which relies on the interpretation of three individuals that were chosen to undertake the task. In an effort to remove the subjectivity of the photograph the work solely exists as three descriptions.

Through the removal of visual representation, we focus only on descriptions. This absence challenges the way in which we rely on visual imagery and instead prompts us to engage with words as the primary means of understanding an image. The three descriptions highlight the diversity of perspectives when engaging with a photograph. Each one represents a subjective understanding of the image, allowing us to consider the varied lenses through which we view the world.

The use of cyan, magenta and yellow lights make reference to the colour darkroom process. These colours are key components in the subtractive colour model, widely employed in colour photography and printing processes. The darkroom is a space where the image is created; where paper is exposed to light, chemicals and colour. Here, this chemical and material transformation is echoed by the interplay of glass, ink and light. Through the glass panels, the ink transforms into text by its exposure to coloured light, thus becoming a system that engages with personal interpretation, whilst still having a foothold in photography.

The work explores a potential to transcend visual representation and engage with text as a means to challenge myths and authority associated with the colour white. Through the different interpretations, the work contributes to a critical examination of the Western-centric and patriarchally-influenced discourse surrounding the colour white. By using participants from varying backgrounds, a new perspective is introduced that disrupts the assumed importance and neutrality attributed to a photograph.

‘Photographs Also Die’ challenges us to reevaluate our understanding of photographic narratives, encouraging us to reflect on the layers of meaning embedded in every image. It is an invitation to explore the shadows, complexities, and nuances inherent in photography. It transcends conventional boundaries, inviting a contemplation of the photograph through its translation into text. The work is a testament to the enduring dialogue between photography and interpretation.