(sculpture, 2011) inkjet print on copy paper
I include this piece because it marks the point I transitioned from purely photographer to artist, although perhaps I didn’t appreciate it at the time. The photographic collective I was part of was asked to respond to Gerard Byrne’s work at MK Gallery in 2011. It was decided (for reasons lost in the mists of time) that we would pivot our responses around a random page from a vintage magazine called ‘True Story’.
It was a photography exhibition; I made a paper sculpture. (So it begins…)
I used scanning as the photographic process, treating the text as an object, and abstracting its content by iterations of scanning until it was unintelligible. This I transformed into a sculpture – far removed from its original incarnation as a body of information-bearing content. I contended the object was a photograph. (The beginnings of working with paper, obsessively turning two dimensions into three dimensions, can be seen here…)
The work mirrored the concerns that figured in Gerard Byrne’s work exploring the interface between myth and reality. I was expressing my own uncertainty about the nature of reality and its relationship with narrative. This was the start of my uneasy relationship with post-modern and post-structuralist convictions, which pop up in my work time and again. My anxiety that we construct objects from how we label them, that identity is created by the act of identifying, that reality itself is begotten merely from the act of perception and cognition.
This is a natrual concern for someone who lives in a parallel reality because of cognitive differences. And yet my work today now explores quite how dangerous that conviction can be, when narrative is gutted of referent, and our theories of the world shift fundamentally from materialism (see A Fall From Grace). The coal face of this irreconcilable tension informs a lot of the alienation and difficulty of my existence.