Work in Progress: Ancient and Modern
Ancient and Modern examines the concept of authenticity within art and antiquities through the construction of a series of pre-photographic ‘historic’ photographs, made using an authentic historic photographic process with a collection of fake, mostly plastic props purchased on ebay. The series aims to question the value placed on age and authenticity within the art market whilst also engaging with critical photographic theory around the function of time within the image. The work is informed by the tension between the constructed artifice and the notions of authenticity that are communicated by age within 19th Century portraiture.
In the book, Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes speaks of the photograph’s ability to defeat time and his experience of a ‘vertigo of time defeated’ when looking at historic photographs. The internal conflict within knowing that the subject is already dead yet their youthful representation is preserved within the two dimensional surface of the photograph is disrupted within this series as we question the validity of the historic experience. The repeated use of the same model emphasizes the photograph’s untruth - instead of functioning as a single, pickled moment of two dimensional time the photographs jar with our common sense to become a broken time machine.
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