We are reconnected to this medievil schizophrenia in contemporary life through funny shaped carrots and potato chips. Not much has changed, although A-list celebrity now shares the iconic spotlight with Jesus and the Virgin; science now defines it as Pareidolia, (t citing Elvis in a potato crisp as evidence. It's an example of our need to imbue the banality of the everyday with meaning where there is often none, in the hope that there is more and as an audience of art the responsibility for meaning will often fall on us.
There is a collective participation in the acceptance of an emotional resonance that contemporary photographic artworks demand from us. Many works present a nothingness to receive our projections of meaning in the collection of pixels that form representations of reality. I play with this idea in Lion Hunting in Essex, where the undergrowth of a small Essex village is a potential hiding place for an escaped, large wild animal. I am thinking more famously of the most expensive photograph in the world, Andreas Gursky's Rhein II auctioned for 4.3 million dollars in 2011. It dares to elevate the everyday to the extraordinary and encourages us to see the world in a new way.
I have included by own little Gursky, the first photograph I remember taking when I was 8 years old in 1974.
|Rhein II © Andreas Gursky, 1999|
|The Miniature Train of Pedras del Rei © Richard Ansett 1974|