Category Archives: 1 – Absence and Signs of Life

The Workshop as Still Life

At the end of my essay on Scott McFarland’s studies of shacks (here) I remarked that the shack, cabin, shed or workshop has been mythologised in recent times, with a changing contemporary nomenclature that has reclassified them as man-caves, hideaways and … Continue reading

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Charlotte Cotton: Something and Nothing (part 2)

When Cotton (1) moves away from still life to look at deserted landscapes she introduces a number of photographers whom I find much easier to understand and relate to. Richard Wentworth’s photographs of the signs and debris of the street are … Continue reading

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Richard Wentworth: Making Do and Getting By

Richard Wentworth OBE is primarily known as a one of the most influential British sculptors of his generation who for forty years he has used a camera as a way of making “casual notes …. of situations which attracted me” … Continue reading

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Michael Kenna: The Evidence of Humanity

In her essay Something and Nothing (1) Charlotte Cotton considers a number of contemporary photographers who have investigated the evidence of humanity through uninhabited city and landscapes. This is an area of photography that is rich in examples, I have already discussed … Continue reading

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Gregory Crewdson: Sanctuary

Before looking in general at photographs that use the absence of life as a metaphorical technique I want to look more closely at Gregory Crewdson’s Sanctuary (1). Sarah Pickering’s Public Order (here) was referenced as an example of this kind … Continue reading

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Charlotte Cotton: Something and Nothing (part 1)

In The Photograph as Contemporary Art (1) Charlotte Cotton includes a chapter that investigates the strategy of using inanimate objects or environments as a metaphor. In practice this chapter considers contemporary still life photography rather more than human altered landscapes without human … Continue reading

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Sarah Pickering and Public Order

Between 2003 and 2008 Sarah Pickering engaged in a series of projects that explored surreal places where the emergency and armed services prepare for their roles. At one level she simply documents training facilities but the very real and tangible … Continue reading

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