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Shadow Catchers

January 10th 2011

Also whilst at the V&A make sure you see the fabulous Shadow Catchers a show of camera-less photography, using processes such as C-type prints, dye destruction print, gelatine – silver print and my favourite is photogram and of course Cyanotype which I have mentioned before

Artists Pierre Cordier, Laszlo Moholy- Nagy, Floris Neususs, Gary Fabian Miller, Susan Derges and Adam Fuss give an insight into their world of making pictures that come from the soul and are focused in catching the “moment of life”.

Photogram by Floris Neususs, image courtesy of Flickr

From the series of My Ghost. Courtesy of Thomas Paul Fine Art, (c) Adam Fuss

Daguerrotype by Adam Fuss

Daguerrotype by Adam Fuss. Image courtesy of The Independent

There’s also a good selection of artist’s videos on the V&A site here:

Totally awe inspiring!


May 27th 2010

There seems to be a growing interest in hauntology, a term coined by French philosopher Jacques Derrida in the early 90s. Its current meaning is best described as the intangible effect of a thing or feeling, generated by the emotional influence of the past, on what is being created in the present. At the moment, I’m noticing it most in music, in fact The Wire magazine recently hosted ‘Revenant Forms: the Meaning of Hauntology’, a salon of experimental music and ideas around the subject..

When I was at college we studied Derrida, which led me towards trying out his deconstruction theory in textiles. I experimented with the construction of a repeat pattern by taking it apart and putting it back together again and also played with Cyanotype – a technique of transferring large-scale photographic images onto fabric.

But aside from Derrida, hauntology links with a noticeable and growing trend; the longing for things that remind us of the past. It’s been manifesting itself as a gradual fondness for retro–feeling interiors and products and the popularity of vintage-inspired, shabby chic interiors; second-hand clothes that have a ‘story’ behind them, the phrase ‘loveworn’ increasingly being used in fashion journalism; comfort food and classic British favourites finding their way onto menus in expensive restaurants; ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ posters.

But it’s not necessarily just about flowers, chintz and bunting. You can detect it in Jacques Wirtz’s work who I mentioned in the post about Milan. Architect David Chipperfield’s Neues Museum in Berlin beautifully marries the past with the contemporary, one informing the other to create a brand new kind of experience.

David Chipperfiled Neues Museum

And last year Muji teamed up with Thonet and Konstantin Grcic to reinterpret Thonet’s famous curved wood chairs – the original design of which was first created 150 years ago.

Thonet Muji chair

Once you’re aware of hauntology it makes absolute sense, and you can’t escape it!