Let them speak and we shall listen.

Theresa Harlan Strong hearts: The practice of visual memories and representations is a conflicted process. As historic objects and representations reveal, on some levels, how little we know about ourselves.’

Walter Benjamin in The Work of Art in the age of Mechanical Reproduction (1968) saw the future image would be placed in the service of the dominant ideology, as spectacle and distraction but would also retain the explosive potential to reassemble time and space into whatever order one desired. In the city, there is a danger that we have no memory. The myth cannon is constantly pumping out manufactured images from manufactured images. The aim of this exhibition is to rupture this cannon and so that there is a ciphering; a jar; a realisation of a history; a history that if we are not careful will be lost within a mass of illusions.

What makes this ciphering of history with photography, is a trianglar relationship between intention>production> audience reception. The photograph is a stand-alone work, as a document. By placing contemporary and historical photographs in relationship with each other they can become a cultural document by which the recipient can readdress their identity and history.

By this device I aim to emphasise the performative aspect of the images, how images are not fixed in time and do not have an ultimate truth. They evolve, just as the landscape and people. This is to emphasise that meaning’ is not inherent within either the image itself or the intention of the image-maker, but is a negotiable property that lies within a conceptual triangle formed by the subject, the image-maker and audience. What must be important, in any analysis of how we are to make sense of the visual interpretation of cultures, is that the analysis must be based within the intra and extra-textual elements from which the inter textual can arise. This can be revealed through the juxtaposition of contemporary and historical photographs in relationship with each other. Alfred Stieglitz Flatiron Building in 1903, placed next to Rudolf Burckhardt reveal the triangular relationship between the extrinsic, intrinsic and intra forces that allude in Stieglitz Flaitron to the impressionists and in Rudy Burckhardt Flaitron (1948), the building has a fleeting quality that is as transient as the people below. The tourist commercialism of The Duomo in Milan can be seen as pervasive with Max Huber depiction of Piazza Duomo abundance of neon light in Milan in 1940 taken in black and white as Adam Eastland’s capturing the tourist balloons fleetingly across the Statuesque Duomo in 2004. is through the intra-dynamic of the two photographs placed together that allow the extrinsic and intrinsic forces to speak.
Edward Curtis in Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie both photographed native American woman. From healers to message receivers Curtis’s image reveals placed next to Tsinhnahjinnie’s reveals this lack of extrinsic forces that Tsinhnahjinnie understanding of indigenous continuance must be the understanding of indigenous religion and history.