Grain destined for export stacked on Madras beaches (February 1877) I've started writing a series of posts on photography on World...
Monday, 29 September 2008
Connected with the previous post, Vanessa Winship talks about her work with Simon Bainbridge in the latest copy of the BJP.
Working "off-radar", with no safety net of editorial or commercial work, she kept on producing work that produced no income of even a survival standard. "You survive on your desire to do what you are doing, and you find litle ways to do this and that. Before I left to work in the Balkans, I worked in Silverprint. Before doing that, I worked in a bar, and I worked in a cinema selling ice-cream. I don't mind doing that kind of work... It has a sort of purity about it in many ways."
It's a purity that comes across in her work, her portraits of schoolgirls typical of a modus operandi in which the artist theoretically absences herself from the image. "It was about making the whole process slower. I really wanted to creat a space, and when you arrive with a large format camera and a tripod it's a kind of event, it's a small piece of theatre. I could be very controlling in that way, but what actually happened in that space had nothing to do with me. And that was the real beauty."
I'm not sure I quite agree with that, the act of absencing yourself, of not being there, is an act in itself and elicits a response - a great response in Winship's case (or Soth's or Dijkstra's or..) But the images are beautiful and the Black Sea series she has on her website also a have an incredible, nostalgic beauty to them.