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Monday, 14 February 2011
Two Companion Photographs Entitled Lynda and Jim
By
Austin Osman Banner

What part of the photograph am I describing? I stand looking at the photographs in short bouts (as my observations are undertaken whilst I am on GA duty in Gallery One). I cannot fully resolve in my head at what point my description of the image (if for a moment I refer to them both singularly) becomes something tangible. Where does the photograph stop and the print of the photograph commence? Let me start with a clear description, there are two works of equal size, each has a label next to the work, the wording on each label simply documents firstly the name of the work, one reads, 'Lynda' and the other, 'Jim' ; thereafter each label states the following: size (8" x 10") this is the size of the image in the print and an indication as to where the actual image is (perhaps) established. The date is 2007, the word 'C-print' (Chromogenic print...the process is alchemy) and finally I am informed that both prints are 'courtesy of the artist. Each print is presented for exhibition in a white wooden frame, and henceforth the dialogue of where the image begins ebbs and flows the more I contemplate the conundrum...I am transported back and forth between two worlds, the world of the print (the image of the sea, the sky and the horizon line) and the world of the photograph...which is more than the sum of the whole...but I digress...and my previous position becomes increasingly unstable. A white boarder nestles up to the white frame; drawing ever closer to the image is a black frame (this in actuality is the black paper in which the photographic box has been placed and skilfully photographed). The photographic box (for it is I believe the same box in both photographs) is open. The top of the box (the lid inverse) forms the next frame, the slender leading edges of the four sides are exposed and the colour is familiar to me...it is 'Kodak Yellow', the box has a resemblance to a gold frame and the box is care warn. Inside the lid is the base (the bottom half of the box) and inside this segment is the photograph of the ocean. Each photograph forms part of a pile: the contents of which could be related. The print rests upon a stack of other similarly sized paper and the heap raises the image almost to the top of the box itself...the box of prints are on the cusp of brimming over. The print of the sea has a white boarder...frames within frames...I am drawn ever closer to the image...focusing inwards, there are moments of contemplation...about the death of one's own parents, and curiously about cremations at sea...water soluble urns, scallop shell forms...hand painted and made of pulped paper; or maybe a different preference, an option of an unfired clay urn. Whichever the choice, each has been specifically made to disperse cremains as gracefully and appropriately as possible...they float for several minutes before sinking. Survivors require a place where they can reflect and remember...each photograph is the same ocean (research reveals that it is a view of the Pacific Ocean close to Catalina Island (which is off the coast of California). The image is the same...only different...a perfect coupling? I am referring only to the actual print of the sea which I believe may have been reversed at the printing stage. Each print is unique, individual: the box has been repositioned and re-photographed, each print is anew.

The closeness of this pairing is fundamental: of memories held by an orphan in the absence of parents.

Image credits:

Anne Collier
8 x 10 (Lynda), 2007
C-print, 27.2 x 32.3 + 1.25” white border, Edition of 5

Anne Collier
8 x 10 (Jim), 2007
C-print, 27.2 x 32.3 + 1.25” white border, Edition of 5
Posted by at 3:00

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