Tutorial Reflection 13/07/2017

After missing a few sessions with Gary it was a great chance to refocus my practise and to think about a path forward with my research. 

The Cabinet of Curiosities, Anthony Prothero, 2017

The Cabinet of Curiosities, Anthony Prothero, 2017

Initial Thoughts/Dicussion from the tutorial

The image above was taken whilst photographing my grandparents house just after my grandmother was taken into hospital. Acting as more of the observer thant he photographer I recorded the position and state of indevudlal items in their living room so as to archive their possessions. 

This act of recording was very different to the constructed images I made after the death of my Aunt as I was fast moved from New York on September 11th so the work was made form a distance with time and thought over each image.

This new work was very much at the scene, and is a portrait of my grandmother without having to have her in the images. Its an investigatory works of preservation. The weaving together of feelings and emotions in the family surrounding her illness.  This close up of the cabinet which Gary called "The Cabinet of Curiosities" is honing in on the sub stories of my grandmother.

These stories are far less penetrable than the memories and the imaginations I created in my previous work post tragedy. The images int he cabinet have far more layers and this image is charged by the story about he moment the image was made rather than just what the image is made about. 

Gary gave me an example of the Tsunami where photographers went and took photographs of the suspended time after it had hit. The camera in this instance was there after the time had been suspended by the environment rather than the usual considerations hat the camera with its shutter is what suspends time. 

Photography has a responsibility of suspending time to record a moment for us.

Post tragedy the camera role isn't to suspend but to record .

The cabinet of curiosities is a suspension off time in my grandparents home, of their life and something that the camera can't do. So because of this has my role in making this work changed form the photographer to more of the role of curator. This moment of time was already suspended beneath the glass of the cabinet and the arrival of my camera has only recorded this suspended state.

These images are no less powerful than a post tragedy image of my previous work which was far removed from the actual event, but the power i think comes from the moment it was taken. Out of control of the situation and with the moment already suspended by my grandmother through her archiving my camera could only record.

Further Ideas for my research project.

look at photo mapping. To create a pictorial map of the cabinet of Curiosities. Perhaps in some way to document the stories that go along with each image.

Does the project take on the role of the investigator? Meticulously recording the size shape and location of every image int he cabinet as some kind of archived record? Perhaps the story of each item can be partnered with its image in the cabinet to form a large mapping of the memories. 

Research into Photobooks: The restoration Will


Further reading:

Picturing Atrocity: Photography in Crisis Paperback – 1 Dec 2011

by Geoffrey Batchen (Editor), Mick Gidley (Editor), Nancy K. Miller  (Editor), Jay Prosser (Editor)