Pompeiian Inversions 2012

Pompeiian Inversions 2012
Part of The Three Magic Particles: Light, Dust and Photographic Grain Series

Twelve black and white pinhole photographic prints on fibre-based paper in archive boxes
Dimensions variable - each print, approx 20 x 20cm, and each box, 29 x 29 x 4cm

The starting point for Pompeian Inversions 2012 was a postcard from Pompeii depicting the cast form of a figure from the eruption of AD 79. This postcard was photographed using a basic biscuit tin pinhole camera containing a piece of photographic paper, to obtain a black and white negative image. This image was then photographed in the same manner, as was each ensuing image.

The repetitive act of reproduction, from positive to negative to positive, corrupts the successive image, which is further degraded by a layer of ash placed on each photograph before it is photographed. The ash, evidence of the material world, and an echo of the eruption that destroyed Pompeii, is both object and image, becoming both creator and destroyer.

Each print is housed in an archive box. Some will be open, but most are closed, revealing a selection to be viewed at any one time, never the whole series. The configuration of the piece is changeable, depending on the space, and can be re-figured over the duration of an exhibition.

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