Black & White

Photos and photograms 1985-2017

A photogram is defined as a silhouette photo, taken without a camera. The object or subject is placed in front of photosensitive paper, exposed to light, and then developed similarly to the classical process. I got into this activity 30 years ago and rediscovered it in summer 2017. A push came from a visit to the storage of the Järvakandi Glass Museum. A vision of light passing through inkwells and lab glass was reinforced by the light that reached the rods and cones of my retina through glass objects. My heart couldn’t rest until this play of light was immortalised on paper. Glass, a solidified substance, is playful, but so is man. But, to be put on paper, a person has to solidify – nay, vitrify – too.

Compositions made up of relics offered enough scope for play; yet I chose to occasionally include plants and toys, so as to bring some life into the nature morte (as reflected in the movies A Night at the Museum and Toy Story). My intention wasn’t a pun, rather an ironic reminder of the human condition.

The series LAB LIFE chronicles humanity’s attempts to interfere with Creation through genetic manipulation and testing of live subjects. SAFARI takes us to the battlefields of politicians. EDEN and EXILE recount a biblical story of falling from grace; both of these also have their contemporary, e-versions, on display.

Aurelius Augustinus has said: “Who is Man, any man, if he is but a man? What are men to me? Why should they hear my confessions, as if it were up to them to remedy my errors? That folk who, while curious of the life of others, do nothing to rectify their own? Why do they want to hear who I am, if they don’t want you to tell them who they are? And how do they know if I’m telling the truth about myself, if none but Man’s own spirit knows what’s inside him? I cannot prove my truthfulness to them, bu I will be heard by those whose ears have been opened by love.”

I cannot prove the truthfulness of my images, but hope to be believed by those whose eyes have been opened by love.