|Boy Walking with Two Women, Ukraine © Richard Ansett 2011|
I am possessed by a disproportionate level of certainty with a camera that is challenged by what feels like an emotional Newtonian law of equal and opposite reaction in hindsight. In photography the easiest part of the process is in the initial creation and only then does the hard work start in analysing the processes that led to that creation. In my mind an image continues to have a present value long after its creation and remains 'active'. What might otherwise be considered 'finished' works are altered on a molecular level by time and space, often taking on new meaning or any meaning at all 'after the fact'. It is an argument for never destroying our archives. Photography as first and foremost a documentary record is of no interest to me and is the subject of great anxiety when I come to present my work to others. A framework for thought and discussion can be created on other dimensions that feel more valuable than the physical nature of any immediate image but persuading others of that is another matter entirely.
I document the lives of strangers and their journey in the normative universe as creatures somehow more complete than myself; I have come to realise that it is what led me as an adopted young person to photography. My work continues to reflect the need to explore the lives of others from the outside, through a diminished lens celebrating those lives regardless of the level of their own suffering as more 'whole' relative to my own. I am still trapped in this gilded cage partly of my own making as willing participant in my own fucked up psychology, its a form of Stockholm syndrome where I am in love with myself as the perpetrator. It is a self love that has created a dogma that brings great joy and mortal satisfaction.
I assumed that being lost was my unique space but my ego was built on what turns out to be shared foundations. I have a new more informed persona now but this is still persona and as much a defensive cliche against the world as any other. My 'poster boy for the disenfranchised' is not really lost in the way I observe in many of the most vulnerable I am exposed to. To be free from persona is the ultimate goal artistically and personally but I fear I may not reach it in time, I am not trying hard enough obviously. There is no finished article just different degrees of progress to be recorded. All life is still arrogantly defined and recorded as relative to my experience but this is less about ego now and in older age is closer to a clumsiness that acknowledges my presence as an equal failure.