Photography is almost always viewed as a reflection of the real world, only a mirror image captured of what we aimed the camera at during that exact moment. But what common negative film records isn’t what we see; it is an alien view, where everything is inverted and strange, and it is only when we invert it again do we see what we expected. I’m interested in the implications of leaving that foreign image in the scene, and also adding another degree of confusion by choosing anonymous found photos, where neither the maker of the scene, nor the context can be established. By doing so, the viewer is only left with what is in front of them; a surreal scene stands in place of what once was an innocent snapshot. A motif that flows through these photos is the reflection of the water. Water is almost universally known as a transcendent and spiritual element, from holy baptism and rebirth to life giving rivers and seas revered by different cultures. In Greek mythology, specifically the story of Narcissus, it represents man’s tendency towards egoism when faced with his own reflection. But what if the person reflected in the water was unfamiliar to us, someone strange, who we couldn’t recognize? What if the reflected face isn’t the one we are used to, the one we always see but the one that is truly there? What would this do to our awareness of the world, and of us?
January 5, 2015