Photographic Constructions 1
Photomontage construction, ‘Living in Barry’ is based within a pillar form, using Perspex cylinders filled with distilled water arranged in a circle, forming a cut through section of the pillar lit from inside. Each cylinder has a photograph attached behind it with the materiality of the photograph hidden from view. Each image is itself distorted to counteract the distortion caused by the magnification from the refractive properties of the water filled container; so as it appears ‘normal’ and undistorted to the viewer. This magnification ensures that only a fraction of the full image behind each glass is seen from any angle, therefore one’s viewing position determines which part of each image one sees. The arrangement of these photographs, each overlapping significantly in image content with its neighbour, are such to form a 360-degree panoramic view of a domestic living space when viewed as a whole. However as one can see only part of each individual image from a given viewing position, (the continuation of the ‘scene’ occurring in the neighbouring cylinders), this allows a lone figure to apparently appear and disappear from the viewer’s perception of a continuous landscape, as they move around the work. Shifts in the viewing position around such work allow the scene to ‘animate’, being populated differently and capturing a different time, within each individual cylinder . The view of several neighbouring cylinders combines to form the perception of a continuous visual scene, although the time captured across this scene is different in each vessel. In this respect the photographic image takes on a three dimensional and temporal aspect.
This work plays with our perception of a representation of domestic reality as familiar and banal. However, the distortions of this display of the ‘ordinary’ reveal a complexity and temporality inherent in the act of moving around and viewing the piece. Moments of time and space are cropped, contained and separated, yet simultaneously a part of a fuller, more complete picture. This acts as a metaphor for the moments, spaces and actions that form a complete human identity. The interior displayed is ‘lit-up’, attracting our attention like a curtain-less window into a stranger’s space and life as we walk along a dark street, tempting us to snoop. The piece realizes a displacement of viewing position, originally shot from inside of the room looking outwards to the containing walls. The viewing position becomes one of looking into a space as if outside, a position of excluded voyeur, outside of the space, looking in.