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During my PhD at the University of Cambridge, I could almost taste the thickness of history, finding it both inspiring and overwhelming. To visualise this, I started a series of photographs: to try to understand my place in the wealth of history, I constructed symbolically-charged scenes in different colleges, with objects that refer to different alumni. I hoped that their physical proximity might bring me closer to these giants of the past.
But instead, my obsession with control and convention stifled my creativity. I wasn't adding anything of my own here, only regurgitating the work of others. I finished my time at Cambridge and hid the photographs in a drawer. Two years passed before I found the antidote: to break my unquestioning reverence of tradition, I had to physically attack the prints—to add my own layer, permanently.
The result is a series of new perceptions, of new impressions of an ancient place that is flooded with history. I cut out pieces, scrape off the photo-sensitive layer, or even set fire to the image. These hand-made prints become unique pieces as I paint over them, transform them into a different language—here and there with a word of my own.
See also the "kamishibai" box I made for this series.
Hand-made gelatin silver print on resin-coated paper; mixed-media.
UNIQUE COPIES, 8 OF EACH (varying sizes)
without a soundProject type
Earlier workProject type
trivial; essentialProject type
I, the PhotographProject type
il faut que je soisProject type
Non-Human AgencyProject type