Exhibition half-way through its month of weekends

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No reality was hurt in the making of this photograph. No CGI, no Photoshop.

Unlike the warnings which annotate everyday life (“may contain nuts”, “do not attempt at home”…) this is a promise: No reality was hurt in the making of the photographs in this exhibition. No CGI (computer-generated imagery), no Photoshop.

In the 20th Century, Susan Sontag reminded us that we understood a photograph to be of something that did or does exist, no matter what lenses, filters, or films were deployed to transformed it. Whereas a painting had no necessary connection to the real. As Roland Barthes succinctly put it: “A photograph is always invisible; it is not it that we see.”

In the 21st Century we have all learned to perceive differently. While we still look through the photograph in front of us, we no longer believe it must portray a solid reality. Today, it is not the KGB expert’s unusual skill which eliminates a discredited enemy from the politburo photograph. We can each remove the whole crowd on the beach around our beloved, with the simple touch of a Photoshop finger.

Forty-five years ago, Sontag wrote “A faked painting (with false attribution) falsifies the history of art. A faked photograph (retouched or tampered with) falsifies reality.”

We see a quite different world now. Yet the photograph remains ‘invisible,’ is looked through, not at.

My current work explores this central paradox of photography: and the difficulty of seeing what is in front of the eyes. There is too much reality out there. As we move through the world, we tend to edit out much of what is actually in front of us. I am not interested in post-click, electronic manipulation: here is what I see.

Does the distinction between the real and unreal, the true and fake, matter at all?   Are they not just flat images of more or less visual interest?

Ah yes, but what the caption “this is a real photograph” is saying is: “Look! This is what you too see, if you open your eyes.”

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Exhibition 2018: a little gallery of selfies?

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Exhibition 2018: a little gallery through a glass, darkly

Are not all photographs self portraits, in fact? Seeing both, sees much more…

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Ceci est une vraie photo

My little exhibition of photographs opens in Cividale on 9th June (at weekends for a month) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike the warnings which annotate everyday life (“may contain nuts”, “do not attempt at home”…) this is a promise: No reality was hurt in the making of this photograph. No CGI (computer-generated imagery), no Photoshop.     

(No lung damage will result from smoking: Ceci n’est pas une pipe.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I can find a moment I will put up gallery or two of these new images during June

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Is not every photograph a self portrait?

My little exhibition of photographs opens in Cividale on 9th June (at weekends for a month) 

Unlike the warnings which annotate everyday life (“may contain nuts”, “do not attempt at home”…) this is a promise: No reality was hurt in the making of this photograph. No CGI (computer-generated imagery), no Photoshop.     

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Both/and is the real world we neglect for either/or

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The Impossibility of Truly Seeing….

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But what IS in front of the eyes?

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Pirouetting with Piero della Francesca : The Piero Gaze

My general talk on Piero della Francesca finally went off this week, and the compliments were encouraging.  Encouraging to have another go. And maybe, actually spend a complete, unrushed, fifty minutes pondering the Piero gaze – simply through these three extraordinary fragments:

The youths seeing each other directly, recognising their desire as if for the first time and its fragility – they are, after all in the presence of the first death; Adam’s dead body lies on the ground by them. Hands are held gently as a huge potential opens up. The pregnant moment.

The pregnant teenager, her gaze inwards, seeing herself and her offspring as if for the first time, as he moves under her hand. Her fate overcomes any terror – she is, after all, a virgin; she is not resigned but rather recognising the huge potential which awaits.

The bleary-eyed figure, on the cold Easter dawn, gazing directly out, at me but through me and at everything. His appearing, his appearance is as astonished as it is astonishing. It is the moment of recognition, when the sting of that first death is totally transformed by belief. In this gaze too, the world will not be the same again.

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