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Human Camera (the first photos) | 1995

Human Camera (the first photos)

These images were the artist's first attempt at becoming a camera.

In order to do this photographic paper was cut into strips small enough to go into her mouth cavity. These slivers of paper were inserted in a blackened studio and lamps were used to expose the scenes on the paper. Traces of light bulbs, hands and ghostly faces appeared. That it actually worked seemed like a small miracle. Her expectations of it working were low.

The impetus to make the work was to pass beyond the discourse of photography as an objectifying mechanism by making the act of photographing and the image become both the subject and the object of the work; everything is subject and everything is object simultaneously on these fragments of paper. The act of photographing records itself here with teeth and spit included. The human agent is both the mechanism and the image. The problem she wanted to answer was to attempt to change the discourse of photography as objectifying bodied by locating it in the body and not remote from it.

 

 

When LS made these images (1995) she was unaware of anyone else who made photographs in this way (using the mouth cavity itself as the camera body). Her work superseded Ann Hamilton's similar work by a few years.

 

Coincidentally AH visited IMMA where LS exhibited her mouth camera work in the AWP room in IMMA (1997), by pure chance a few years later AH made one small almost identical work which was shown in IMMA (2002). It is unlikely AH saw the work of LS, coincidences arise.