Opacities (2023) Benjamin Stezaker.
“Talbot was not taking a picture through the window of the world outside as Niepce, Daguerre and many others did. Instead, Talbot chooses to look at the window itself. He tells us that photography is about framing and then shows us nothing but that frame. He suggests that photography offers a window onto the world but chose nothing but that window.” (Batchen, 2001: 10)
This quote has become a metaphor for what I have been doing in this series. In our transparent image culture, rather than seeing through, I have found a way of looking at the image and looking at transparency itself. I use obscured glass, a semi-liquid medium, to make these contact prints. Only through the, partially revealed, refracted image is it possible for projective vision to intermingle with receptive vision, which Raymond Bellour describes as ‘pensive vision’. I am defending the ability to create a distance from the image against an immersive culture seemingly oriented towards the destruction of individual imagination and the projections of pensive vision. By rejecting the viewers receptive vision, I am focusing the attention to the surface and materiality of the prints and their frozen, liquid like refractions. Their self projections have also revealed an organic cellular aspect hidden in ordinary perception – like histology images. It is the medium of transparency creating an image of itself in another medium of transparency.