“Every photograph is a certificate of presence. This certificate is the new embarrassment which its invention has introduced into the family of images.
…..The important thing is that the photograph possesses an evidential force, and that it testimony bears not on the object but on time. From a phenomenological viewpoint, in the Photograph, the power of authentication exceeds the power of representation.” Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, pp87 – 89
This work explores the photograph’s connection to time and to memory; and it seeks to show how this aspect of the medium makes it both fascinating and potentially uncanny.
A photograph authenticates a person’s existence, because, as Roland Barthes says, it is “the certificate of presence.” But it also denotes absence. We have our memories but back them up with the evidential force of the photograph portrait. We value the images of our departed relatives; they are the evidence that once that person existed, and like our memory even photographs fade. They fade slowly, and infuriatingly sometimes, only the general outline of that person, like a shadow, like a ghost, like a faulty memory is all we have left.
These twelve Polymer Etchings are derived from one photograph of my grandmother taken in the 1930’s when she was my age; I was not there when they were taken and she is not here now. They describe through sequentially diminishing imagery, the process of time on memory loss or dementia.