Time traveling aesthetically back to 1971 or, more precisely, to remembering 1971. Hmmm …
Re-imagined as a photograph taken then, looked at now … still trying to get exactly what I want … and falling just a little short
… but getting my range in.
… a plot? A story? A life?
As drawn by one of the other, unpictured, characters.
Clockwise: Rachel, Daniel, Sylvie and David.
Probably for no other purpose than for me to see them when I close my eyes. Better to leave them inside the reader’s head surely.
When you hold this serpentine adder stone and it warms in your hand … in your peripheral vision, the veins pulse and writhe …
There seems to be a consensual assumption around here that these images are “just” photographs or even worse, “just photoshopped” photographs.
And if the wider world is seeing the same things then I’m going to have to find a way to eloquently and succinctly describe how these images are made — because that’s the point: they aren’t photographs, they’re totally artificial, made, collaged and constructed.
You go for a walk … well, I go for a walk … over the moor or along the shore, wherever, and the experience of seeing, looking, is so deep and rich and very very complicated; in the same way that flavour is so much more than what’s going on in your mouth, on your tongue.
Attention darts around, backgrounds are edited out or blurred, scale is all pretty flexible, perspective without a point, the geological name for this mineral or the latin name for that plant flavours the smell of it, the feel of it, everything has a history and there are all the stories I’ve ever read or heard, not to mention the one I’m trying to tell.
And then I take a photograph.
And the result is … well, it’s an aide-memoire, a reference, but it’s flat, inert, mute, almost useless.
However deeply you interrogate it, it will not engage, tell you a story, take you back.
Might it be possible to gather them together, conjure up more of the feeling of being there by painting with the photographs, reflecting the way we construct our view of a scene from a flickering net of captured moments, details stitched together into a virtual three dimensional stage set in our heads?
Playing with the indexical objectivity “lie” that photographs have always told but keep the playing obvious at the same time, faking it, for real.
Building a stage in front of you.
Well, in this story no-one’s ever quite sure what is real.
So the illustrations need to have a slightly fugitive quality too … mirroring that dozy few minutes after waking but before I’m fully alert, trying to hold on to dream images as they slip and slide back below the oily surface into the abyss. Fix them.
Oh the terrible irony of it: I’ve started to print out these crude, lo-rez images onto lovely glossy photo paper and they’re beautiful.
Which is a little like listening to the gorgeous gritty analogue crackle of a hyperdub vinyl disc on high end audio equipment … hmmm … do that too.
Is that pretentious or just another sort of baroque horror vacui?
Guarding the border between worlds.
To begin at the beginning:
It is summer, before the moon is up, night in the valley, glitterful of stars and graphite-black, the fox-paths silent and hunched,
Trevaylor wood limping invisible down to the
sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboatbobbing sea.
The beginning … ay, there’s the rub …
But it does begin … here
… “Show me …”
If you can imagine … carrying an old box brownie camera into your dreams … or mine to be more precise.
But with film as sensitive to emotions as it is to light … or something.