Existential photography · rememoration
Looking back at photos can have two sides, on one a rememoration of who was present / what was being done, and the possibility of re-rememorating in an effort to make sense, to build some sort of existential wholeness of ones life experience history, and this latter side, or path, seems so much more constructive and productive. The photograph tells you you where there, in or out of the scene – so at least some sort of complicity exists with what went on.
What was going on in these photos? They were taken over a few days, learning and talking about existentialism and photography. I photograph, am photographed, therefore I exist. Or, alternatively, I photograph, am photographed so I serve the apparatus/device. Though was fast back then. So fast, such velocity, so unsettled, such possibilities, so amazing. And where the hell was digital ?
To photograph was to make something of interest. What we were doing, witnessing, becoming an accomplice to, registering, perpetuating. To be photographed was to participate in deciding what was significant; that was, of course what we were doing, talking, thinking about, as something alternative to the rules we abided by.
Fragments · beware · photography history
All this to say that looking at the past through photographs – many of which have been misplaced, lost, destroyed – is at best a fragmentary experience, a collection of bits, of fragments, of dots, that can be joined. And this is where the process, the mental exercise can become interesting and creative; a sort of orientation, a line drawing that makes sense to who drafts, draws.
Having left the UK in late 1981 due to Thatcher rulings on foreigners, I had found what I wanted to do, so having to leave seemed trivial. All these years later, reconnecting with that time, with the inhabitants of that time, albeit virtually – on several occasions very close to physically re-meeting several of them – is absolutely not trivial. The possibility of this re-encounter has provoked this looking at photographs of that time and to re-remorate. The sense of wholeness and purpose that is resulting from this is extraordinary – beware, highly recommended ! It is a process of making our very own personal photography history ….
The existential photography session follows, enjoy, think about your own photography history! The rest of the series can be found under uk-years on this site.