Self: The Photograph, Memory and Nostalgia
This exhibition is in partial fulfilment of the MA Contemporary Arts Research
MA Contemporary Art Research (Fine Art)
Dissertation: This enquiry takes the form of a personal reflective narrative within a theoretical framework influenced by the writings of Barthes, Sontag, Benjamin and others. It opens by briefly exploring the historical development of photography and the emergence of the photograph as a as the snapshot in the context of the family photograph. The enquiry considers the relationship between the family photograph and the development of autobiographical memory in turn a detailed exploration of the influence of autobiographical memory and the sense of self. Finally the dissertation explores the emotional influence of nostalgia as a catalyst in the development of a sense of self and place.
Exhibition: This is a practice based exhibition comprising three installations which explore in turn; the notion of aging and mortality through the decay of memory and the ephemeral photograph; the family photograph and the uncanny nature of the pose based on a selection of family photographs spanning four generations; a simulation of the frailty of memory in which appropriated frames of decaying film stock are combined with familiar images in a dissonant melange of the familiar and the confused.
The enquiry is informed by a series of questions: Is my art practice born out of a sense of self and agency? What are the influence of autobiographical memory and the emotion of nostalgia?