Monday, October 29, 2007

Black Dresses

I came across this photograph in a second-hand shop. On the back it says "May 1926, Nice".

I am intrigued by the holes - mice maybe?

The faces are almost gone and so, quite likely, are the women in the black dresses.

I am thinking of my family photographs, of people long gone, but their clothes still in existence. This photo to me is more an object than an image, an object of sadness, mourning, mortality, decay, absence and destruction.The image that remains is ghostly and eerie.

It reminds me of a piece of work by Lizzie Ridout who bought old "photographs from second-hand shop graveyards", edited them "to remove all signs of the person, and retain just the sitter's clothes." She printed them on paper where,if exposed to light, the remaining image will fade with time - thus the inevitable change of everything that is becomes visible through acceleration.

Ridout, Lizzie (2007), Homeward Bound or An Exercise in Collecting Beginnings, British Library, London


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