I hope this writing reveals a little of the thinking behind the development of the work entitled ‘Cellular Dysfunction’ and a small series: ’Oxidative Stress’
I am not trying to place my work in any one area when comparing it historically or within the contemporary art world. I refer to the resemblances only and would prefer it develops a genre of its own, that could sit eventually anywhere between a photographic investigation recording a series of abstract representations of repetitive relapses in a chronic illness to the arterly painting of Francis Bacon.
When we consider the relationship of photographic science to contemporary art, there are specific relationships from the early cameraless imagery created by Maholy-Nagy and Man Ray to later contemporary photographic work, such as Sarah Schonfeld and her work on solutions of illegal drugs dropped onto film! Specific investigations by Sarah Pickering and her celestial objects was comparable to Ori Gershts work. Gersht used a bank of cameras to photograph floral arrangements, first frozen in liquid nitrogen. He used short exposure times to produce a series of pictures in rapid succession that showed the effects of concealed explosives detonated inside the flowers. Eadweard Muybridge and Thomas Eakins achieved similar visual effects combining very short exposures and photographic series to reveal a world of rapid motion in humans and animals.
One of the things I find when explaining your own work when it’s very intuitive, is, that it can be really difficult. It’s as if you have to drag the words into the conscious world through an exhausting explanation. You know it, but it’s not immediately accessible. This could be of course be reflective of my cognitive behaviour on any one day as a sufferer of M.E! I am interested in the emotional and behavioural response of working with and developing these images on those days I struggle with fatigue.
One of these occasions occurred when I was recently having a conversation with a peer, whom I had asked to have a quick glance over my images, when she mentioned ‘the repetition reducing the strength of the first of five images in the series’, this sparked subconscious thought and revealed a conscious revelation as I tried to explain the repetition in a collection of images forming a series under my case study, Cellular Dysfunction.
I tried to explain that the repetition not only represented the relapses of the considered illness but the repetition was significant as part of scientific methodological formulae. Working with scientific investigations incurs much repetition, the labelling of events, I, Ia, Ib, Ic, IIa, IIb, IIc etc., I understand that this type of investigation can remove the subjectivity to a point from individual images but together gather aspects of the investigation that reveal failure or success at different time points along the study. I deliberately stay away from elaborate and evocative naming of the images in the case of this series and reflect this again, to some degree in the case study of Immune Dysfunction too.
Developing my project and realising it consciously is always the highlight for me. It’s as if you are coming to terms with the work which sometimes takes a life of its own and this strength allows structure and finally an explanation. This was one of the exiting moments of the project for me. I was at the time finishing a piece of work on ‘Oxidative Stress’ and depth studies within that same series, and just considering how best to display them. I had experimented with one blood cell before attempting to extrude images of my own. Heres a short series showing Oxidative stress of one blood cell.
Later the work becomes a little more sophisticated as I experiment with depth maps. I have some experience of extruding images from both the earlier work and the 3D work I experimented with in early January. Here I labels the images IAi from the starting image Oxygen 1a. I run a series of depth-maps and reject two of the images that didn’t properly represent the process of oxidative stress, extrusion of the oxygen cells from the image, from the internal landscape. I check for consistency in the variable and spot rejections when they do not align with the controls. This makes an interesting set of images that I later display in a panel for ease of seeing the process.
You can follow the work here at Visual Explorations, a journey of development of images for the final major project.