Dualities

2019

The work takes a starting point in a study of the essence of photography. What is a photograph beyond its motif? What does a photograph do? To answer these questions the negative was put aside and left were the imprint of light on a light-sensitive surface. The prints are mostly monochromes with small variations of shades. Roland Barthes and Susan Sontag have been writing upon this subject and made an initial impact on the project. Sontag writes in her book On Photography: ”All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability”. By taking away what’s commonly recognized as a motif, the picture might no longer be a photograph. But from another point of view, the motif has become light itself. And by following the logic of Sontag’s words, the project articulates the mortality of light. From this point, the new questions became: what is light, and what does it mean to portrait it? 

Dualities is composed of objects, texts, and images linked together by numbers. The system allows viewers to explore their own logic of the research or follow the chain of numbers as a story. It is an interdisciplinary study and exploration of light as phenomena and beliefs through a photo-historic perspective. The work consists of 28 numbered texts which combine science with religious texts of light as the divine life-giving force. Some texts look into the etymology of the key-words and start a wordplay. The texts’ numbers are found beside objects on three tables and besides images on the walls according to the system. One table announces photography as an imprint and hence the relationship between photograph and fossils; another illustrates different chemicals used in alternative photographic processes used in the work; and the aforementioned prints without negatives, so-called lumen prints, are presented on the third table.