2017 - Ambiguous Times

June 12, 2017

This picture adopts the style of a collage to encourage us to ponder ambiguity and transience in current times.

 

The picture is divided into three horizontal sections. In the central section shimmers a reflection of St Paul’s, framed within the steel girders of the underground entrance. The solidity of the famous old building and the steel of the modern subway are undermined by the disturbed reflections in separate plates of glass: even our most solid creations are impermanent.

 

The upper level, above the top girder, shows a Christmas tree and consumers walking amidst shop fronts. St Paul’s is placed in the context of a religious festival that has been, to some extent at least, commercialised into a festival of consumption.

 

 

 

 

 

In the lower section a woman emerges from the escalator. She raises a hand to her chin in a caricature of self-reflective doubt. Her image is duplicated and reversed on either side: it is no longer her left hand that comes to her chin but her right. The reversibility of the portrait symbolises the ambiguous notion of a self in the postmodern world.

 

Finally, in the centre of the picture the photographer also makes a partial entrance. In a kind of surreal joke he acquires the lower half of a commuter leaving the subway.

 

Although the photograph has the style of collage it is a single image recorded on a Leica camera and lens with very little post processing. 

 

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