I bought an excellent little book in my local second hand book shop this afternoon. It’s entitled ‘Reading Things’ and is a collection of essays and artists’ projects curated by sculptor Neil Cummings:
Most of our material world, like the iceberg, lies beneath the threshold of our comprehension. Things flow past and rest silently as a sediment shaping our consciousness. If our experience of time is dovetailed into the representation of the present, the object, like the pop song, can snare the fleeting moment as it falls away from memory.
I was particularly struck by two photo series: ‘Ties’ by Roger Estop (images above) and Richard Wentworth’s ‘Parade: Twenty one non-sequiturs’:
Both projects reminded me of the surrealists’ interest in the mundane details of everyday life and the way that these can be transformed into visions of the marvelous simply by photographing them (often in isolation from their normal surroundings). They understood that the camera eye provides a peculiarly intense view of the world in all its strange ordinariness.
I was also reminded of Wentworth’s photographs which record objects discovered abandoned on the street and which were exhibited alongisde Eugene Atget’s images of a disappearing Paris a few years ago:
Here the boundary between sculpture and photography almost completely disappears.
How can you use photography to re-examine the objects that you use every day without really thinking about or looking at them? How can use your camera to rediscover the everyday world around you?