New Photographic Chemistry
In 2014, I found a second-hand 1963 publication, 'A Textbook of Photographic Chemistry'. It was like unearthing a forgotten language whose significance had been lost. It inspired a creative process involving the appropriation, re-presentation, deconstruction and eventual destruction of the original textbook - a form of metaphorical exploration.
'New Photographic Chemistry' combines studio-based digital photography with layers of manipulation, physical actions (cutting, tearing, folding, constructing, deconstructing and even burning), printing (including fabrics), re-photographing and often, further digital manipulation and mark-making. Everything, even the most complex, began in the book.
In the outcome, signifier is released from signified and re-presented, often enhanced and multiplied, in a colourful, seductive, hyper-real simulation. The viewer is tempted to read a new significance and the transformation that is 'Photographic Chemistry', something more than the physical reactions of substances, works its magic. Yet the complex, seductive and thought-provoking images are empty of significance beyond their making.
Two video links (right) on this page provide more background on the process and presentation of the project.
As part of my BA submission, I bound my images back into the cover of the old book - see video below: