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Monday, 5 March 2012

Work in Progress - Persistency of Death (Desire of Memory)

A number of professional photographer would confirm that if they want to remember something they are about to do, they will not bring the camera with them. For something which remains in the memory is something which remains alive, exposed to the changes of our mental states and experiences, maybe exposed to a further interaction with the thing itself, and definitely subjected to our own caducity and death. But for something to gain new life as an immortal being, it has to die, it has to cease to be able to mutate, and this has to occur outside us, maybe in a photograph.
At a personal level, what strikes me as so similar between photography and death is the flawless, inscrutable surface that they share: the ineluctability of an event in front of which there is absolutely nothing one can do or expect, nothing to grab in order to grasp its meaning, no awareness of the event because to become aware of it can only happen in death. This flawless surface that conceals everything is the same surface of the photograph that conceals the hands of the artist. Photography and death don’t hide, but they don’t say what they let us see either.
The series is part of a larger installation called Persistency of Death (Desire of Memory). The images are black and white darkroom prints that have been subsequently scraped off (the series consists of scraped off colour prints as well). The technique and tools applied do not scrape the entire surface off the print (leaving it white), but rather they take away the very first layer of surface off the picture, leaving what it looks like a latent, a skeleton image. Within the investigation of the surface and of death, these pictures are possibly the last layer before the complete disappearance of the image (and metaphorically of the person). The process is extremely lengthy and caring, revelatory rather than destructive: it reveals the ineluctability of death, of the image, and of the surface, and the impossibility of its memory.


All the images in this post ©copyright:Clara Turchi











All the images in this post ©copyright:Clara Turchi