Camera as Apparatus


Camera as Apparatus, 2018

The following work is about the destructive effect of using photography to create an immortal self-image. The work “mortalizes” photography by questioning the role of picture taking and how photography inherently adds to the action of remembering and forgetting. The work is, essentially, photography about photography.

Consisting of thirty images in total, the work is divided into three horizontal, parallel photographic strips that are reminiscent of analog negatives. The repetitive nature of the work has to do with the collapsing of the language of cinema and photography. Each row presents a different piece of content associated with photography. For instance, the first row depicts dark, highly abstracted images of an old view camera thus placing the camera within a body, an apparatus. It reminds the viewer of the mechanics of picture taking. The second row contains blurred, even airy, self-portraits. Lastly, the bottom row highlights the forms on the backs of old photographs, hinges peep out from the edges. Each row calls attention to a specific arena of photography that has either been forgotten or is currently being overused. 

The self-portraits are about the present. It focusses on how most people use photography: to document themselves and a modern obsession with doing so. However, the last row of images presents a slightly more morbid, but nonetheless real, perspective on how photography ages. The paper itself is eroding, fading and placing this in front of the viewer reminds the audience of one thing: photography does not last. Yes, it can perfectly capture a moment but what really needs to be asked is, “How important is it for this instance to be remembered via a photograph than by our actual present, human experience?”.