Ian Wiblin, Chris Müller

Allbwn ymchwil: Ffurf annhestunolArddangosfa


An exhibition of 28 photographs of my photographs of the Bank of England with textual interventions by Dr Chris Müller (Cardiff University), held at Schwarzwaldallee gallery, Basel, Switzerland. As a photographer I was initially interested in the relative blankness of the current structure of the Bank of England. In particular I was intrigued by the building’s predominantly blank form in relation to its function – and what, metaphorically, the exterior surface of the building concealed about its function. Parallel to this I was also interested in the building’s particular history and existence in relation to ruin and its connection, through the ground on which it stands, to London’s Roman and medieval pasts. John Soane’s original designs for the Bank now only survive in the form of the walled façade that circles the base of the existing structure. This wall became the subject of my photographs. Knowledge of the painter Joseph Michael Gandy’s depiction of Soane’s Bank in ruins made this subject all the more intriguing. Gandy’s depiction was intended as an affirmation of the building’s relative permanence – but under a hundred years later the image the painting imagines was realised, as Soane’s building was destroyed to accommodate the Bank’s expansion. The great white hulk that now telescopes up above the height of the wall arose unsentimentally out of Soane’s architecture that was laid waste in the name of progress. Architecturally the high and largely featureless form of Soane’s surviving screen-wall lends emphasis to its containing function. The Bank remains for the most part invisible and unknowable in terms of its interior space and its operations.

I photograph with an analogue camera with twin lenses (one for seeing and one for taking) and a waist level focusing screen. The building addresses me through ground-glass. I look directly down from my subject into this small misty square of light that I proceed to focus, its resolving image back-to front but not upside down. The operation of the camera creates a distance between myself and my subject, but it also generates an intensity of experience.

Some notes about the photographs and their making:
The images in this exhibition (Bank, Schwarzwaldallee, Basel, October 2015) are the product of an analogue process corrupted by digital intervention. When taking the photographs I had introduced an element of chance into my working method through the deliberate use of out-of-date or ‘expired’ film – negative film which, due to the ruin of its chemical emulsion, was no longer predictable in terms of the accuracy of its exposure or its colours. The chanced nature of the results of this blind speculation has been at least partially negated by my engagement with the digital post-production processes of scanning and inkjet printing. The control I had originally ceded to the erratic and unfaithful film-stock loaded into my camera I now took back, however regrettably, as I digitally translated the haphazard patterns of film grain into pixels – into data comprised of the certainties of 1s and 0s. My reluctant quality control of the photographs on the computer screen forced me into an awkward dalliance with digital restoration. The purity of the original ruins of my photographs has thus become tainted largely as a result of my own aesthetically motivated judgements and decisions. This digital overhaul has rewritten the history of these photographs – and in so doing has obscured the uncertainty of their genesis: as tiny explosions of light etched onto the jaded chemical formulation coating the film lodged at the back of my camera. The digital intervention has salvaged or re-imagined colours, at least to an extent, in ways that might almost suggest a truthful rendering of reality. But now digitally expunged is the legacy of the analogue process, the dust and scratches that once impaired the surface of the original negatives now gone. Such defects were initially writ large through the scanning process but have subsequently been obsessively vanished by localized re-orderings of pixels. I outline this history and these interventions here to draw attention to what might otherwise have remained invisible. A photograph perhaps requires from its viewer faith in its properties in order for it to communicate convincingly. In truth, there is nothing certain or truly known about precisely what these photographs depict or how they depict what they purport to depict. Maybe in essence what they represent, as photographs, are the ruins of their original intentions. These photographs, in their printed form as on display here, exist as conceptual, aesthetic and material contradictions. Without this text they would perhaps remain, in ways that might mirror the opaqueness of the institution of the Bank itself, rather dishonest contradictions obscuring the true nature and purpose of their partially reconstructed form. Despite, or perhaps because of, their inescapably flawed digital resurrection out of analogue ruin, I hope that these photographs may speak of the past, present or future ruin of their subject and of what resides invisibly and abstractly within that subject’s blank walls.
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
StatwsCyhoeddwyd - 17 Hyd 2015

Ôl bys

Gweld gwybodaeth am bynciau ymchwil 'BANK'. Gyda’i gilydd, maen nhw’n ffurfio ôl bys unigryw.

Dyfynnu hyn