Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Nostalgia and Decay
Joerg posted an article on the number of photographers that are concerned with 'abstraction, materiality and process.' The author wondered why this might be so.
I think it might be because a lot of this work is concerned with decay - decay of the image in the literal sense (some of Stephen Gill's work), decay of the digital image ( Elijah Gowin), decay through nostalgia (visual history nostalgia as with Markus Amm, Sara GreenbergerRafferty as well as anyone working with alternative processes) and decay through the means of representation and reproduction (televisual and appropriated images).
At the same time this decay refers to an organic, physical presence, something with a history that lies beyond the instant gratification of the internet - something that is material but not permanent. There is a striving for something kinaesthetic in these images of process and materiality, something that takes them beyond the digital - and I think that is part of what is being photographed, the death of the photographic image, but also its preservation, albeit in decaying and decontextualised state, beyond the degrading influence of the computer screen. And sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.