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Works for Sale

Excerpt from Richard Grayson's text for SMART Papers:  Lindsay Seers: Swallowing Black Maria 2007

Technologies are uncanny. Arthur C. Clarke famously proposed in his `Three Laws of Prediction´ (Profiles of the Future, 1961), that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and with photography the magical loading has been felt from the first. Not only was the photographic process used from its early days to document séances and psychical manifestations (and so to prove them 'real' as the medium quickly...

Becoming a camera has its consequences. Days spent trying to cannibalise herself in a hand mirror revealed that no matter how hard she tried to hold the photographic paper still in her teeth it buckled and distorted, and so at every attempt she turns into a monster. By taking a picture of herself in this speculum she literally ingests her image, printing her outside on her inside, but this inversion reveals something grotesque – the unseen inner demon perhaps?

Another example of the act of photographing affecting her physiologically stems from the fact that the colour...

Cycling around the city from historic site to sight - it was hard to digest. History was written large all over it, the burning of the books and so on. A postcard from a small shop pictured a giant statue of Marx but that had long since gone and was buried in the ground somewhere. Absence seemed oddly present as I tried to take it all in.

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...

Coupling | 1995

8m digital print on laminated paper

Family photographs are probably far less printed now and remain as screen based images but those that reach further back in time, and have been printed, may languish in albums and old biscuit tins in cupboards but they do not rest in a fixed stasis, but they change with us. Their relevance shifts as the pictured accrue more narrative and different contexts.

It is not unusual to find photographs with faces blotted out or cut away. Sometimes no-one can identify who an old image is even of anymore - the knowledge is lost and a certain...