2010. július 8., csütörtök

PACT Animal Sanctuary

The experience of browsing in a charity shop, of this charity shop in particular, is a curious one. It is an attic for the community where unused picture frames, video cassettes, exercise bikes, cameras and old clothes are stuffed away. The shop unit is arranged like a sitting room with sofas facing the centre, china dolls on sideboards, picture frames on the walls; it is a shop disguised as a house.

It is furnished with weightless mementoes. By this I mean there is a sense of nostalgia and time-passed but the reader is aware these items have been discarded; the nostalgic reading is undermined and there is no weight of history in the objects.
In arguing the case that photography should be considered as separate from fine-art, John Berger explains that ‘The good photograph is the well-composed one. Yet this is only true in so far as we think of photographic images imitating painted ones.’ While painting’s strength lies in the arrangement of objects within a frame, photography relies on what is excluded from the frame.

The objects in these images have been arranged to create a pleasing composition by the shop staff. This composition is perhaps more so dictated by practicality than aesthetics, but the latter is clearly also a consideration. In photographing these ready made pseudo-domestic compositions what is excluded from the image is, ironically, any genuine sense of an ephemeral history. This creates friction between the objects as they are somewhat forcefully arranged.

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