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Negative photographic works | 1997

Negative photographic works

Medium: Cross-processed slide film printed as cibachromes mounted on aluminium.

Some Editions Sold or in Laure Genillard collection

If we loosen an idea of a binary relationship between positive and negative as simply being opposites and consider the two states to be a difference in kind rather than degree, then in the negative photograph (the image that is actually imprinted on the historic film in the camera) we are presented with another world not a simple opposite. Often more ghostly and spectral than its non identical twin (the positive), it reveals a hidden world that carries forward an odd truth.

This reduction of the world in photography into the state of image is precisely its emptying out of time. The moment becomes frozen like a zombie becoming eternally present but locked into a hollowed out living death.

If the two images of the world, one positive and one negative are taken as different states then the negative holds a fascination by revealing something inherent in the nature of the photographic form itself.  This relates not just to zombies but to the uncanny, ghosts, death and vampirism

These tropes underlie a fear of death that the act of photographing can seem to negate, in that we can seem to keep back time and own it.

In these negative photographic works the artist takes a journey into the other land of the negative, becoming alien, zombie, ventriloquist, becoming a creature for the realm she is trapped in. She does not try to escape the alienation that the negative will reveal but embraces the role, taking puppets with her sometimes who can become more real then her - at least in colour. Often elements in the photo are painted/coloured for translation into negative – such as skin being painted blue but this attempt to defy the translation that the photograph will assert, she still can not escape being rendered a zombie.

The photographs do not make the dream beautiful but touch on the dark side of a medium whose power is fickle. One should not forget the dark forces that rely on the lens to gain power and control over society.