Issuu on Google+

They re Not Laughing Now


They re Not Laughing Now

Alexander Brattell Andrew Catlin Martin Everett Nigel Green Stuart GriďŹƒths Amanda Jobson Nazarin Montag Bruce Rae Vicky Wetherill

Š2010 by the editors of this book Andrew Catlin & Alexander Brattell. All contributors retain sole copyright to their contributions to this book.

2


They re Not Laughing Now


They re Not Laughing Now

They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. They re not laughing now.

Bob Monkhouse

4


Introduction Photography is an act, of looking and seeing, but it is also a journey. Photography cannot only be about itself.

It must begin by looking outwards at what is already seen.

But soon photography has changed what is looked at and how it is seen.

The nature of the journey is then changed, unpredictably. The seeing has changed the seer.

For some this journey becomes a vocation, an evolution from an instinct and an enthusiasm into a way of life via a route that could not possibly have been plotted at the outset.

They re Not Laughing Now is a celebration of personal journeys in photography and a snapshot of current practice in a fast changing medium, featuring nine photographers, all coincidentally based in the Hastings area.

Alex Brattell, St. Leonards On Sea, January 2010


They re Not Laughing Now

6


05

Introduction

08

Nigel Green

16

Nazarin Montag

22

Bruce Rae

30

Andrew Catlin

38

Stuart GriďŹƒths

38

Amanda Jobson

48

Martin Everett

56

Alexander Brattell

64

Vicky Wetherill

72

Essay


They re Not Laughing Now

Nigel Green Forgotten, overlooked and often unknown, these objects lingered in dormant obscurity

amongst my inherited possessions. Occupying a liminal space at the limits of memory I was struck by their strangeness and absurdity. At some point they were invested with meaning

or marked an event, now they have become simply material artefacts, a residue that serves

to reveal the darkness of memory. Although some of the objects evoke speciďŹ c associations, the memories that return are vague and unreliable like spectral ďŹ gures of the imagination.

For me the reality of these objects is imbued with melancholy, but for those viewing them as photographs they belong to the immediate experience of the present - free from subjective

attachment and history. I used colour to emphasise an idiosyncratic response to the individ-

ual pieces, a way to extend the uncertainty they provoked. As a series of curios their signiďŹ -

cance is limited to personal and domestic life: comic and forlorn they form the fragments of a partial and fractured memory theatre.

8


They re Not Laughing Now

12


They re Not Laughing Now

14


They re Not Laughing Now

Nazarin Montag Has sharing images - sharing perceptions - affected individuality? Optical technologies per-

meate everyday life, and by bridging vast distances they have changed the nature of vision.

The personal has become institutional, mediated by cameras and computers, and we inhabit

virtual bodies created by photography, the telephone and television. So our primary question might address how technology affects biology.

Ali Hossani (Vision of the Gods and Enquiry Into The Meaning of Photography) My work is concerned with the nature of transmitted digital media. In an age of advanced technology it has become a normal part of everyday life to interact with the virtual world where the boundaries of reality and fantasy are blurred.

Skype is a series of photographs that examines the nature of a virtual image that stands in

for the biological. A system composed of electrons, one that Roy Ascroft described as being weightless and dimensionless in any exact sense.

Within this system takes place both the merging of natural and technological worlds and the mimicking of the body and the eye, offering the potential of the multiple body and optic-organ in the form of a computer and mobile hardware.

The Skype Portrait project aims to quantify this re-composing of distorted streamed im-

ages. The pixel presents itself in its own time frame and colour, re-painting and reconstructing its subject. Through the use of photography I can also consider the architecture of the

electronic medium, recorded as contours that traverse a pixel grid, mapping the surface of the screen, the substrata of the electronic world.

The questions of representation of the real and hyper-real, presented by photography as the mirror of reality , is called into question with the onset of streamed and mobile phone im-

agery; abstracted and faint representations are accepted as truth once the referent or event

has been named.

16


They re Not Laughing Now

18


They re Not Laughing Now

20


They re Not Laughing Now

Bruce Rae

I am interested in that point at which things appear and then disappear: in the narrow space

between birth and death . This in about 1990.

Then again, in 1992, I wrote that I try to make a fictive, floating world, containing echoes of an archaeological site from an undisclosed place .

I find that I have nothing else to say. Anything else the pictures say for themselves, or else they don t.

January 2010

22


They re Not Laughing Now

24


They re Not Laughing Now

26


They re Not Laughing Now

28


They re Not Laughing Now

Andrew Catlin I was trained as a scientist - an objective observer. With photography I embrace and offset this discipline, using it as a justification to be entirely subjective. A photograph is a way to share what one sees and feels; and the way of seeing. Experiencing without judgment or

sentimentality, but with a certain gentleness of eye. Combining intimate detachment, clarity,

instinct and craft, to assimilate what is ordinary in the extraordinary and extraordinary in the normal. Photography is a way to understand myself and other people.

The Matrix series are built from collections of moments, separately composed but connect-

ed. The impression from a distance is of an abstract graphic. Then the picture resolves into panoramas or sequences as you move closer. Next, individual frames emerge to present a

cinematic narrative. There is movement in both space and time within the picture, and also in the action of looking at the picture. The repetitions provide a rhythm and tone that is some-

how musical as well as visual.

The relations within the images come progressively into focus, introducing new questions and surprises. Expressions on faces and details of movement emerge, revealing subtle changes of mood within and between frames, while remaining true to the original premise of photo-

graphs as precise reflections of moments in time.

The dimension of time reveals complex interactions, but also certain simplicities. The structure provides both a formal constraint, and an open stage for the narrative. Ordinary situ-

ations unfold to become subtle and fascinating as successive frames are revisited. The

complexities within each sequence can be explored in many ways, and elements that would be invisible in real time or in a single image reveal themselves.

The work is all from real settings; none are staged or contrived. This presents a unique chal-

lenge, as it is can be necessary to join a situation for an extended period without disrupting

it. It isn t sufficient to snatch a single image. The whole final picture must be rapidly pre-con-

ceived and composed in response to a particular constellation of mood and subject. Clairvoyance, instinct and ease of presence are prerequisites.

Each Matrix provides a way to see that is quite different to any conventional mechanism of

perception.

Berlin Balcony, 2009 following pages: Helsinki Bar, 2009 Athens Pillar, 2008

30


They re Not Laughing Now

32


They re Not Laughing Now

Antwerp Self Bank, 2010 following pages: Eurotunnel, 2010 Pompidou, 2007

34


They re Not Laughing Now

36


They re Not Laughing Now

Stuart Griffiths & Amanda Jobson The Stade (from an Anglo-Saxon word, meaning landing place ) is an area of the eastern

seafront in Hastings, East Sussex, UK, which is steeped in history. The Hastings fishing fleet

has reduced in size in recent years but is still the largest beach-launched fleet in the country, and is manned by people who can trace their roots as fishermen for centuries. Plans are

underway for the development of a New Art Gallery on the historic Hastings Stade seafront. In conjunction with Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Council the Jerwood

Foundation plans to build an art gallery to be sited in the area where the coach lorry park & Tom s Cabin are currently located on the Stade.

As photographers we are interested in the historical shifts and transformation to the envi-

ronment.. It is important to record these changes for historical documentation .

The work is from a selection of photographs taken over a two year period, presented as a slide installation titled The Stade .

38


They re Not Laughing Now

40


They re Not Laughing Now

42


They re Not Laughing Now

44


They re Not Laughing Now

46


They re Not Laughing Now

Martin Everett These images form part of an on-going body of work created at the Museum of the Cath-

ederal de Santa Eulalia in Murcia, southern Spain. The museum was built to house the most intact remaining entrance to the original Islamic city ‒ which dates from 825 AD. The pho-

tographs are part of my practice based PhD around the Arab Muslim scientist, scholar and optical visionary, Abn al-Haytham.

Communion following pages: Temptation Risen

48


They re Not Laughing Now

50


They re Not Laughing Now

52


They re Not Laughing Now

Mass preceding pages: Procession Ceremony

54


They re Not Laughing Now

Alexander Brattell I photograph moments of heightened visual awareness. Sometimes what I see has an in-

tensity beyond the facts of the scene in front of me. It could be anything, anywhere; a pile of rubbish can be as valid as a magnificent vista in the sensation that it evokes. I believe

that such moments reveal shapes of thought that point the way to an alphabet beneath the threshold of verbal language. For me, the beginning is not the Word but the Vision,

and a wholly visual language is required to explore it. My work is a psychological report-

age, an attempt to recognise and communicate experiences not easily described by other

means.

The residue of these experiences is photographic negatives which I print in a darkroom in the traditional way. The flavour of analogue media is better suited to the type of at-

mospheres that satisfy me and I need the sense of making something that a computer

alone cannot yet sustain. I never crop my pictures; whatever finds its way into a negative successful enough to print is there for its own reasons and so remains. My photographs emerge singly and in series; strands of thoughts linked visually rather than projects cho-

sen by subject.

This path, as I soon learnt, carries a rich provenance, such as the Equivalents espoused by Alfred Stieglitz in the 1920 s or Paul Nash in the 1930 s. It continues a tradition that

celebrates the mysterious as enshrined in daily existence, a personal animism embedded in the nature of first hand experience.

That nature necessarily changes with time and experience. Photography became voca-

tional for me in my early twenties, and as I became exposed to the work of many artists

and photographers it was inevitable that the nature of my seeing would become filtered to some extent through theirs. At first I believed I could guard my innocence and pre-

serve the intensity of vision that had been distilled by my own practice of photography.

But of course innocence protected for too long becomes a wilful ignorance that impedes

self-development. As I gained experience and confidence, I could see that the effect upon me of the work of others that I admired had become a reinforcement, an aspect and an endorsement, rather than a dilution of or a threat to my own visual style.

Hence, for example, the gas man photograph (Kensington, March 2009) doubles as an

accidental homage to a Minor White photograph. It is only a matter of time before Aaron Siskind s work glove from 1944, or Marcel Duchamp s figure descending a staircase (or Roy DeCarava s figure on the subway stairs ascending) are fully digested and uncon-

sciously find their projection in my everyday visual field, along with all those other things that I had originally set out to reveal and explore.

St Leonards On Sea, January 2010

56


They re Not Laughing Now

Los Angeles, March 2006

58


They re Not Laughing Now

Kensington, March 2009

60


They re Not Laughing Now

Bexhill, October 2009

62


They re Not Laughing Now

Vicky Wetherill Women of a certain age haunt the more rarified shopping districts of Paris. The ghost of

youthful beauty persists; it lingers in the gloss of designer clothing and defiant makeup. Postures are defensive - chins raised, handbags clutched, confidently clicking heels.

Yet behind the eyes lies melancholy; there is disappointment, betrayal. Heaviness of spirit

with a ballast of shopping bags.

The paraphernalia of fashion which once announced their beauty has become their armour; an attempt to fool the eye, deflect scrutiny. The brittle facade of a careful poise could be

shattered by a deep stare. In this society s denial of old age, admiration gives way to indiffer-

ence and, eventually, invisibility.

Experts in illusion, these women seem to stay in constant motion - almost intangible. Ethereal and out of grasp, they exist on a separate plane.

Only by holding them still - with a gentle glance, not a controlling gaze - is their fragility revealed.

64


They re Not Laughing Now

72


Hastingas Photographicus by Vasileios Kantas

Hastings, due to its lack of a natural harbour, has witnessed over the years many attempts to create a sheltered harbor. Though a harbour arm remains uncompleted, a creative arm releases the shutter button of a camera quite often in this coastal town. In this group show nine photographers based in Hastings - a town which is sometimes referred to as the birthplace of television since the pioneer of television, John Logie Baird, lived there ‒ continue an inquiry upon vision. The earliest mention of Hastings is found in the late 8th century in the form Hastingas, a term derived from the Old English tribal name Hæstingas, meaning Hæsta s people . The coincidental basing of these photographer s in the same place seems unlikely to be adequate to unite them, and their practice, into a tribe ‒ Hastingas Photographicus. This show mainly displays their different journeys in photography, shaped individually through the way each of them handles the medium, rather than searching for common characteristics between them. An insight

subtle qualities. Fortunately though, sometimes a photograph can function as an unerring instinct and it appears as a bark. Brattell s photographs are similar to what a dog s bark in the dark stands for; they draw our attention to what might be there, and alert us to the fact that what we see is simply what we see, not the totality of what exists. Andrew Catlin s imagery formations could be considered as a study on perception. His matrix suggests a unique syntax, of which the visual elements have been formed partly coincidentally - the subject s actions - and partly in a controllable way - the photographer s decisions. Whilst the way the sub-frames are selected and positioned in the matrix is preconceived, it does not serve the linearity of time which seems to be loosened, if not abolished. The display of the sub-frames allows different reading strate-

into each author s work is suggested below.

gies, seemingly serving many goals simultaneously.

Alexander Brattell s photographs, seemingly dealing with the mechan-

reading route along the stills. Secondly, it aims at a formalistic corre-

ics of compositional order and witty content, throw light as well as they throw darkness; they reveal, as well as they hide. A black and white process, intuitively planned in the daylight and meticulously executed in the darkroom. Brattell s photographs speak for a world, without showing that world. Philosopher Norton Batkin has suggested, whilst reading Paul Strand s work, that photographs reveal the fact of the world - e.g. the fact that the world exists, though without being able to reveal the world; namely its life (i). In the case of Brattell s work, his photographs reveal the possibility of a world consisted of multiple simultaneously co-existing occurrences. Whilst Brattell s images cannot speak directly about the life of these worlds, they direct the viewer towards its multiplicities. Driven by his intuition, Brattell discovers the points of entry into this multi-optioned/layered experience called living. He envisages, and attempts to project, a glimpse of its content through using a two dimensional/human-like optical system of perception. The medium of Photography is perhaps too poor to describe such

Firstly, it serves a potential unfolding of a story, following no specific lation between the frames; a shaping of a pattern consisted of other autonomous visual structures. Thirdly, it offers the spectator an opportunity to pause on an area/fragment of the matrix and read the subframes content in an independent way. In the first case, the reading process has the quality of a riddle; it puts the viewer in a creative mode of constructing the path towards meaning , contemplating the modus operandi of perception. In the second case, the reading process is reminiscent of a puzzle; the matrix asks from the viewer to be taken as a graphic structure, offering aesthetic rewards derived from its composition. In the third case, the reading process is that of a documentary/street photograph; it triggers the viewer s imagination, as this is what completes the narration that a photographic still which is taken as found demands due to the medium s specificity, e.g. the inability to narrate how something exists, but only to point at this existence. If the visual rendition of a story could be cut into pieces and displayed in a temporal sequence along a string of which the length


They re Not Laughing Now

presents all the incidents occurred, each of Catlin s matrixes is a string

Everett creates an imaginative space, hosting the unknown in the form

tied up in a loose knot. A knot that while for some spectators could be

of colour particles, while simultaneously allowing parts of the image to

considered as a Gordian one, for some others could function as a pleas-

keep their contact with reality. Such imagery that oscillates between

ant mind game.

the real and the imaginative has a daydream s quality - a doubt of con-

Furthermore, due to a vivid presence of rhythm, Catlin s matrixes could

sciousness.

also be taken as a pentagram, in which the individual frames function as a phonetic spelling of the piece of music / story to be conveyed, hinting

Nigel Green has photographed objects that he has found or rediscov-

in this way at perception theories based on intersensory processing(ii).

ered in the recesses, the back of an unused drawer and other unminded places of his home. They all belong to him, either from childhood or in-

Martin Everett places a camera inside of a museum that surrounds a

herited. Some of them he has no recollection of whatsoever while others

cathedral which hosts an entrance - to the original Islamic city. As an act

evoke distant and vague memories , as he states. For him, these objects

in itself, this photographic rendering of any information / atmosphere

raise questions about memory, possessions and ultimately meaning.

that could be conveyed through the film, is a gesture that involves many

The way he chooses to depict them follows an archival logic. He estrang-

boxes ‒camera, museum, cathedral, entrance - which observe each

es them from the surroundings they used to inhabit and he neutralizes

other.

the lighting conditions. He does not try to produce any narration around

Everett s subject matter seems to float into orbit with notions of space/

them, he just encounters them frontally.

inclusion and vision/visibility. His work attempts to depict something not

The viewpoint adopted is one slightly positioned from above. It seems

specific that is included somewhere specific, whilst examining the con-

that he wants to confront them as an adult; no trip back to his past is

ditions of its visibility. It seems that Bachelard s The poetics of space,

attempted. He doesn t seem to have the need to change their image.

which adopts a phenomenological view on architecture based on lived

He just wants to look at them, once again; though his gaze cannot stay

experience, has informed his practice(iii).

completely insusceptible to the influence of their presence.

Affected by such an architecture of the imagination , all decisions to-

The background he chooses to place them in is not neutral and is also

wards representing his subject matter have favoured a poetic / ab-

varied. Green s view on this is that he wanted each object to have its own

stract rendition over a descriptive mode.

particular space. As he explains, On one hand this was to break up the

Not using filters or postproduction manipulation aligns with the philoso-

uniformity of the consistent format but more significantly was the idea

phy of the lived experience, which presupposes an inquisitive attitude

that the colour represented a subjective response to each object. The

towards how phenomena can appear - in this case on a light sensitive

idea I had in mind was that memories are often associated with colour or

material. Experimenting by using a rangefinder medium format camera,

a specific quality of light and as these objects were often on the cusp of

he pushes its materials towards their saturation limits: by using a vivid

my memory I wanted the colour to reflect this luminal status. However

colour film, by extending the exposure time - varied between 4 and 8

he leaves open the possibility of a psychological or uncanny dimension

minutes - affecting the colour temperature and by displaying the prints

related to this choice. One could argue that the chosen background

as transparencies illuminated from behind.

colour stands either for the re-enacting of a story in the - colourfully

By throwing light from the back of his images, as he displays them in

right- matching environment, or for a post-occurrence aim to control /

lightboxes, he diffuses even more the colour that is spread in the image

alter the memory of it.

due to the long exposure, filling the space with a metaphysical aura.

Green hesitates to choose where exactly he should stand and

One could argue that such an effect creates invisibility, a quality often

observe in order to make sense of his identity s development: by dis-

approached through art, poetry and other means of expressing

tancing from the past incidents or by stepping inside of them? By

the ineffable. In Everett s words, the question posed could be formu-

imaginatively recalling them or by re-enacting them? By objectively/pas-

lated as We may think of ourselves as observers, but are we actually

sively watching them or by actively intervening into his past by chang-

seeing?

ing the way they appear?

74


The act of placing these toys in front of the lens, hints at the pos-

that redefines the notion of the real through a perpetual noise pro-

sibility of a rewarding pleasure to be gained by this dialogue between

duced by new types of technical images.

himself and his past; no matter the level of intervention the pleasure

Montag directs her camera onto her computer screen aiming to take

seems guaranteed. Such a creative way to deal with his ‒allow me the

portraits of a friend of hers, while they communicate through Skype.

term- occasional melancholia , characterised by an irresolution of the

During their conversation, Montag observes the modus operandi of ex-

brings into play the Aristotelian association of art

change of visual information through internet. She is interested in the

and melancholia. It has been argued that this association may be radi-

process and the images generated throughout this transmission; in the

cally eradicated by immobility - the conservation of the living under its

subsets of frames produced by the computer and the nature of time

affection s origin

inanimate form

(iv),

(v).

The photographic act is, par excellence, one of im-

delays that occur , as she states.

mobilization; the toys acquire a second life and Green a second chance

Looking at how electronic devices deconstruct and recompose one s

to access his past.

physical image, she implies that such an imperfect, distorted visual ren-

No matter what is the background s colour choice, Nigel seems to search

dering reflects the nature of the contact between the subjects at the

for the indefinable nature of his own hue of Green .

ends of the line: insubstantial, segmented, alienable, almost virtual. Contemplating the quality of their communication, Montag spontane-

Stuart Griffiths & Amanda Jobson s practices share similar represen-

ously takes photographs of her friend wishing that they would formu-

tational style, that of the documentary. The Hastings Stade seafront,

late a comment that could be verbally articulated in her own words as

a place that hosts activities related to fishing and now is about to also

how easily we accept abstracted images as a replacement of the real

be a cultural centre, becomes the subject of their observation. In these

subject .

images one can encounter two modes of the documentary, that of the

The method/medium Montag uses to communicate her concern is one

view and that of the scene (vi). Adopting both distanced/neutralized

that adds an extra level of alteration, as a photograph is a technical im-

and close-up/vital gazing angles in visually rendering that space, they

age that mediates reality into a coded representation. She highlights in

provide both descriptive and expressive representations.

this way the fact that the pictures produced by electronic apparatuses

The tactics of executing contemporary social documentary differ

and software play an important role in creating a more and more dif-

amongst photographers. It is a variety of choices in approaching the

ferent image -arbitrarily structured to an extent- distancing the subject

subject matter that manages to shape in a unique way each body of

from its physical image.

work. In this case, where Griffiths and Jobson are not occasional visitors

The problematic aspect of such a differentiated image is that it feed-

but inhabitants, their photo-essay could be better described as a topo-

backs our perception of reality. It becomes part of our pre-existent con-

graphical study. A camera operator s adventitious, episodic glance gives

ceptions of reality, our belief of what is real, against which we test and

its place to Jobson s & Griffiths aware gaze; one could read in this gaze

assess the future images we will encounter.(vii) Skype s images seem to

an oscillation between habitually-established quotidian rituals and future

argue My friend is like this, because this is how it looks .

occurrences, if not a reversion to a former way of living.

Bruce Rae experiments with big format wooden cameras, exposing neg-

Apart from any archival purpose, this slide show does not only reveal

ative film which he later uses to produce paper prints. The paper

their aim towards historical documentation; it hints at a personal quest

has been immersed in gelatin and salt, then dried, then coated with

for understanding a space that undergoes a sudden transition

silver nitrate and citric acid. Finally, this paper is put in contact with the

and for positioning themselves/their camera over against this rapid

negative film and is exposed to sunlight.

change. Their images seem to inhabit the query Where should I stand

The images included in this show are composites from two negatives

when the ground starts moving?

onto a sheet of paper. The choice of the objects themselves , along with the choice of a dyadic form of display and the choice of which objects

Nazarin Montag s project, titled Skype, speaks about the uncertainty of

should coexist on the same sheet/frame compose the puzzle of these

reference; for the inevitable corrosion of our visual databank/repertoire

images reading.


They re Not Laughing Now

Though on a first glance Rae s work seemingly cites a display for ar-

work provides a focused, phenomenological quest for points of entry to

chival purposes- due to the strict method of depicting the objects, the

the psyche of those women. Street photography s specificity attributes

choice of medium of representation and the quality of the paper prints

to Wetherill s gaze/missile simultaneously a perforating as well as a de-

which imply objectivity and longevity as aims- a more meticulous gaze

flecting quality. In both cases, gravity partially shapes the missile s route;

could discern subjectivity that serves the photographer s preference.

in this project s terms, Gravity partially shapes the subjects routes in

Apart from recognising archaeological methods and seeing Rae s work

the cityscape.

as a museum s display that references cabinets of curiosities , there is an omnipresent element of texture that encompass as a tactile aura

This work presents a survey of the current photographic practice in the

the whole process of Rae s act.

coast of East Sussex, through photographers for whom what they do is

Firstly, he chooses the objects - My subject matter, I get where I can,

not a job or a pastime but a vocation. Replying to the title of the 2009

wheedle out of friends, find or buy from junk shops he says. Apart from

British drama film shot on location in Hastings Is Anybody There? their

implying emptiness, all of them have an intensely shaped surface, offer-

imagery releases a stage whisper: Yes, at least nine cameras rendering

ing to the sense of touch a rewarding course. Secondly, he chooses the

visible their owners personal journeys.

working method: Wood, around his optical device; hand-coated paper, salt on the paper s surface, prints by contact with the film, no prints enlargement because if you blow them up Bruce doesn t like what happens to the texture of the paper

(viii).

Thirdly, he chooses to place to-

gether objects with similar texture: two shells, a shedded snake skin and a fabric, skull/ implied bird feathers and another fabric. One could apparently discern a visceral quality of texture

(ix).

Rae s

objects on display invite the viewer to activate her/his tactile sensors as well as his/her eyes; they aspire to function as a bridge between senses

i Norton Batkin, Philosophy and Photography (New York, London: Garland Publishing ,

or even as photographs able to be better perceived if additionally read

1990)

through touch - like a method for Braille writing.

ii David J. Lewcowisz & Robert Lickliter (eds) , The development of Intersensory perception: Comparative perspectives (London :Psychology Press , 1994 )

Vicky Wetherill photographs women of certain age on the streets of the

iii Gaston Bachelard , The poetics of space, tr. Maria Jolas (New York: Orion Press , [1958]

most exclusive/expensive streets of Paris. Her working method is based

1964)

on capturing her subjects unaware of the photographic act; as she de-

iv Associate Professor Christine Ross highlights the difficulty of locating the melancholic s

scribes When I noticed the right woman passing into view, I clicked. The

origin/reason why, at page 1 of her book The Aesthetics of Disengangement (Minneapolis,

aim was to get expressions as truly unselfconscious as possible- deep in

London: University of Minnesota Press , 2009 )

thought and oblivious to their surroundings.

v Pierre Fedida , Des bienfaits de la depression: Eloge de la psychotherapie (Paris: Odile

Wetherill directs her lenses to details on the appearance of these wom-

Jacob , 2001 ) , p.16.

en, intending to comment upon the fragility underneath their fine cloth-

vi These two dominant modes of documentary are suggested by David Bate and are de-

ing style. The constant pursuit of elegance and the vaingloriousness of

scribed in the 3rd chapter of his book Photography (Oxford, New York: Berg , 2009 ). See

splurge that aim to counterbalance the traits of the passing time, are

also his article The real aesthetic: Documentary noise

the signs that, once spotted on female figures of the specific target

2010.

group, trigger off Wetherill s camera s shutter.

vii David Bate, Photography (Oxford, New York: Berg , 2009 ) , p.41.

However, photographs do not just serve their authors intention; they

viii Note taken from email correspondence with Alexander Brattell.

manage to capture more, less or other elements too, from the ones ini-

ix Images reading made by Joanne Eleanor Bradshaw, a Philosopher. All correlations afore-

tially focussed on, as well as to provoke a variety of readings. Wetherill s

mentioned in this passage have been made in the light of that comment.

76

in Portfolio, issue 51, pp.5-9, May


Vasileios Kantas studied Electrical Engineering, Critical Theory and Photography. Having being awarded

Paradoxically, perhaps, the photographs generate a powerful atmosphere and sense of place,

scholarships, he submitted his PhD thesis in Wimbledon College of Art. His theoretical work

one that is consistently infused with the desire, uncertainty and expectation associated with

has been presented in conferences and his images have been exhibited. He lives in London,

darkness and the unseen.

lecturing, curating, writing and photographing. He is currently a Lecturer in Photography at

http://www.martineverett.co.uk

London South Bank University. Nigel Green Alexander Brattell

lives and works at Pett Level in East Sussex. In 2008 he completed a practice based PhD at

started photographing musicians and artists in 1981 for the post punk Liverpool fanzine

UCA Maidstone which looked at the relationship between photography and the representa-

Breakout . Abandoning a psychology degree to pursue photography full time, he served a

tion of modernist architectural space. His photographic work has been exhibited and pub-

working apprenticeship as a commercial photographer and became freelance in London in

lished widely and in 2003 he completed a commission by Photoworks to document the power

1986. He has worked for many major publications, including 14 years as a freelancer for the

station complex at Dungeness in Kent. The book, which accompanied the project, was short

The Sunday Telegraph. His fine art silver gelatin prints exploring states of mind, perception

listed for the 2004 Arles Festival Book Awards. Other major projects include Transmoder-

and human nature, an ongoing psychological reportage , form a continuous thread through

nity: Calais Reconstruction which documented the reconstruction architecture of the town

his career and have been widely exhibited. He relocated from East London to Hastings in

and was published as a book in 2001 by the Calais Museum of Fine Art. Having a long-term

2005.

interest in French reconstruction architecture he is currently working on a project for the

http://www.brattell.com

Picardy based photographic organisation Diaphane, to photograph the post-war architecture of the region. The project will be published and exhibited in 2010.

Andrew Catlin

http://www.nigelgreen.info

is a prolific English photographer, artist, director, and director of photography. He experimented with image making throughout his childhood, and continued to photograph while

Amanda Jobson

completing a psychology degree at Durham University and postgraduate research at UCL.

left school at 16 to work as a trainee photographer for a Fleet Street press agency. As a

After this he focused fully on portrait and documentary photography, and film-making.

young photographer Jobson travelled across the UK to photograph former Prime Minister

Especially active in documenting musicians and artists, and the background culture sur-

Margaret Thatcher. In 1987 she began to freelance for clients Just Seventeen, Smash Hits,

rounding them, his work has been widely published in books and magazines throughout the

19 Magazine, Parlophone, Trojan & EMI Records. In 1999 Jobson began working on edito-

world. He has travelled extensively for diverse film and photographic projects.

rial photography assignments and travelled extensively to Mexico and Africa working for

Recent work embraces influences from photography, film-making and graphic design for a

NGO s. In 2008, Jobson graduated from University of Westminster with an Honours Degree

project called The Matrix Series, which develops themes of place, behaviour and atmosphere

in Photographic Arts, which included a personal project on family life in rural Ukraine. She

within time and space, through complex multi-image narratives.

is now based in Hastings and currently documenting the South Coast of England. Her work

The work explores multiple dimensions to provide a unique perspective, encompassing

responds to present circumstances and the lives of others. Jobson s recent works on the

mood, movement, rhythm, narrative and graphic structure, within an underlying human and

Hastings Fishermen s Winch Huts, explores the material culture of working lives hidden from

documentary framework.

public gaze. These photographic works were exhibited at WPS Gallery in 2009. Jobson

His photography is held in major public and private collections and archives worldwide, in-

continues to work on self-initiated bodies of work and gives workshops to students and

cluding The National Portrait Gallery in London and the Schwules Museum in Berlin.

enthusiasts of photography.

http://www.andrewcatlin.com

www.amandajobson.co.uk

Martin Everett

Stuart Griffiths

Interested in photography from an early age, Martin moved to Sussex five years ago to ac-

As a teenager Griffiths had a keen interest in photography. At 16 he enlisted in the Para-

tively pursue the medium. Having previously worked in the design and print industry, his head

chute Regiment and became a unit photographer with the Intelligence Section in Northern

was filled with the theories of digital workflows and colour correctness . Hence, his reaction

Ireland. Griffiths left the British Army in 1993 to concentrate on photography. In 1997 he

to this fast-paced world of precision and deadlines is to work with film in a slower and more

graduated from the University of Brighton with an honours degree in Editorial Photography

considered manner using light, or rather the lack of it as the tool towards invention.

and worked as a freelance photographer on self initiated stories, including; Albania Before

My photographic work looks at exploring the tension between the narrative tendencies and

The Collapse, Northern Ireland Uprising, Civil War In The Democratic Republic of Congo &

the abstract possibilities of photography. Ignoring many of the descriptive and representa-

Private Security in Baghdad, Iraq. Griffith s life has been well documented by his personal

tional capabilities of the camera, I have worked mostly at night or, certainly, with very low

work on British Soldiers. In 2009 the film Isolation following Griffith s photographic work on

levels of available light, building the work around the drama between what the photograph

veterans was premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival, a performance (with live orchestra-

might reveal and what it might conceal. I feel that the work tends to go against the recent

tion) was shown at the 7th London Short Film Festival (Camden Roundhouse) in January

trend in photography that has stressed everyday subject matter and a realist approach the

2010. Griffiths is a visiting lecturer on photography at Universities across the UK. He con-

world, instead the photographs create spatial plays and ambiguities that often draw atten-

tinues to work on commissions for international publications and was a consultant and stills

tion to the material nature of the photograph as an object, rather than the receding, illusory

photographer for Ken Loach s film Route Irish.

space behind the picture plane.

www.stuartgriffiths.net


They re Not Laughing Now

Nazarin Montag trained as a fashion and beauty photographer in London in the 1980 s. Having had a career spanning two decades providing images for fashion magazines and the record industry she has sought to re-contextualize her practice, turning the camera to the transient surface of the electronically distributed image. http://www.nazarin.com Bruce Rae The Salt Print... Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the history of the processes known generically as photographic was a wonder of man s ingenuity and diversity. The common factor to most of these was silver. The early twentieth century saw a democratisation of photography with the introduction of miniature cameras, mass produced film and silver gelatin paper. The papers available were as diverse as the processes of the nineteenth century. After the nineteen fifties many of the best materials disappeared. They were expensive, being rich in silver or else they, on occasion offended the defenders of the public health. By and large, I gave up on silver gelatin in the nineteen nineties with the disappearance of Kodak s Ektalure and one or two Japanese papers. I had been making salt prints in tandem with silver gelatin since about nineteen eighty seven, but now felt that the only way forward was to be my own producer and concentrate solely on salt. A piece of plain, acid free, cotton rag paper is immersed in a bath of gelatin and common salt. This paper is then allowed to dry for twenty four hours. A solution of silver nitrate and citric acid is coated, by means of a glass rod, onto the paper and then vigorously dried. A camera negative is placed over the coated paper and the two together are put into a printing frame. The frame is then exposed to ultra violet light and the silver chloride becomes reduced to the metallic silver of a photographic image. The properties of silver nitrate were known as early as 1560, but it was not until the 1830 s that the astronomer royal, Sir John Herschel, realised the potential of using hypo to remove the unexposed silver nitrate from the paper thus rendering the print stable. Louis Daguerre s process preceded the publication of the salt print or plain salted paper by several months. Daguerreotypes were, however, strictly one offs and it was with the repeatability of Herschel s process that the photographic age was born. http://www.photohastings.org/photographers.html Vicky Wetherill After working for several years as a jewellery designer, Vicky Wetherill completed a BA in photography at the London College of Printing. Shortly afterwards she was chosen by Rankin as one of six best new photographers whose work comprised Substance , a book with accompanying exhibitions at the Dazed and Confused Gallery and OXO Tower. Her Peep Show study of the Paris red light district was subsequently published as a book by Dewi Lewis with a solo exhibition at the Tom Blau Gallery. One of the photos from this series was selected by the London Film Festival as its main advertising image in 2002 - and was recreated in neon in Leicester Square. Vicky s work - which relies on the nuances and integrity of film rather than digital photography - is on a narrative theme, and subtly explores the subjects and protagonists of voyeurism. Her photography has appeared in a number of publications including Dutch, the Face, Tank, Creative Camera and Nova [France]. Vicky lives in St Leonards On Sea, and co-owns the vintage design shop Skylon . She is currently working on a study of the escapist culture of Las Vegas. http://www.dewilewispublishing.com/PHOTOGRAPHY/Wetherill.htm.

78


Original Show Commissioned Simon Hedges F-ISH Gallery Robertson Street Hastings www.f-ish.co.uk. 2.10.2010-14.11.2010 Brighton Photo Fringe Hastings 2010

Curated Alexander Brattell www.brattell.com

Book Edited & Designed by Andrew Catlin & Alexander Brattell

available to order at: www.blurb.com/books/1599583

Essay Vasileios Kantas



They’re Not Laughing Now