I have created a collection (see Dis-integration Work in Progress). I have not used the descriptors series or typology (Mike Perry, 2018) as the images are not in an order of significance or of one type. They are, however, of the same genus, beach debris. I chose the title and simply numbered each one as they are linked by the descriptor genus. For me, combing the two parts with a hyphen shows that there are two processes at work as evidenced in my images.
In a world where integration and equality are important I see what we are making becoming one with what has naturally occurred regardless of what it is. Anthony Hernandez found traces of human habitation with his series Landscapes for the Homeless (Smithson, 2017). Mandy Barker has also shown found manmade items, as is, but from oceans and beaches across the world. She also photographed the finds transformed, in a way that appears to ‘integrate’ them with nature and be described as new found forms (Barker, 2017).
By adding ‘dis’ to integration I am making a statement about deterioration, not dismissal, and showing the stages that some items are going through naturally, over time. In contrast, Matt Collishaw (Jones, 2013) deliberately takes apart naturally occurring creatures and poisons living plants and photographs their disintegration. Jonathan Jones described Collishaw’s art as both ”….lovely and vile. It is an art of our time and it hits true, like a bullet in the head.”. (Jones, 26 April 2013). This view resonates with me as some of my images are items that induce disgust as well as guilt and embarrassment at belonging to the human race that discards such things. However, whereas his images are beautiful and need close inspection or accompanying descriptions to explain them, mine are more obvious from the beginning and seem to be more similar to images made by Keith Arnett, including in some cases, their colours (Goldschmidt, 2014; O’Hagan, 2015; Laing, 2016). His pictures from a rubbish tip were items placed on plastic with the camera focussed on the closest edge. I plan to try his techniques and in doing so make more of the reflected diffused natural light as he has done.
My titling this group of images has opened a way forward for me. Immediately I thought of the concept I was able to select images that fitted the theme, both seeming to be on a road to integration while showing evidence of disintegration. A secondary effect has been to focus my attention in taking new images, thus I have shifted from taking as many items as I see, and thinking about them afterwards, to concentrating on finding and taking those that fit the theme. Of course the downside of this concentrated effort will always be that I might have overlooked potential images that could take me to a better place with the project.
Barker, Mandy. 2017. Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals. Recent and Unique Species Discovered in the Cove of Cork. Overlapse: United Kingdom.
Goldschmidt, Michal. December 2014. Keith Arnatt: Pictures from a Rubbish Tip 1988-9. Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/arnatt-pictures-from-a-rubbish-tip-t13171. [accessed 30-08-2018].
Jones, Jonathan. 2013) Mat Collishaw: still sensational. Interview. The Guardian. Fri 26 Apr 2013. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/apr/26/mat-collishaw-still-sensational. [accessed 24-03-2018].
Laing, Olivia. 9 April 2016. Conceptual art: why a bag of rubbish is not just a load of old garbage. Avaulable at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/apr/09/conceptual-art-tate-britain-olivia-laing. [accessed 30-03-2018].
O’Hagan, Sean. 27 August 2015. Keith Arnatt is proof that the art world doesn’t consider photography ‘real’ art. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/aug/27/keith-arnatt-photography-exhibition-spruth-magers-absence-of-the-artist. [accessed 30-03-2018].
Perry, Mike. 2018. Land/Sea Solo exhibition. Mostyn Gallery, Wales, 2 March-2 July 2018. Available at:http://www.m-perry.com. [accessed 30-03-2018].
Smithson, Aline. 26 September 2017. Anthony Hernandez: Landscapes for the Homeless and Public Transit Areas. Available at: http://lenscratch.com/2017/09/anthony-hernandez/. [accessed 24-03-2018].