Now I’m here
While oblivion can be defined as being unaware or unconscious of what is happening, it’s more an ignoring of it. We’re often aware, we just choose to consider a problem too difficult to tackle, or decide that no matter what we do, we won’t have an effect. But it’s when we take up the fight that we discover what freedom, redefined or not, is.
Installed in a shipping container as part of Rotterdam Photo 2023, Now I’m Here included over 200 images, 23 short personal stories and a changing selection of rubbish that was scattered across the floor without care.
The work responded to the festivals’s theme: Freedom Redefined. It was my first exhibition in eight years, and my most personal.
A world confounding
I’m trying to make sense of our world. I’m confounded by the mounting detritus that our unequal capitalist culture serves us for a price. Consumption fueled by feel-good marketing underpinned by FOMO. Little matters other than our convenience and as we proliferate, production keeps pace.
The shipping container as an open studio to explore attention span and the capability to see
I saw the container as an opportunity to let go of restraint. I embraced raw and messy, allowing the exhibition to change daily based on my wim.
New images were added, others removed, some thrown on the floor. Collections of single-use plastic rubbish were scattered across the floor. Images of eyes collected from magazines were torn and swept into a corner. An accumulation of Yogi tea tags with their new age wisdom were suspended in a plastic bag, inert. Things moved around the space, just as consumer objects come and go into the containers shunted across the globe to satisify our consumer urges, the blood vessels of capitalism.
I printed new stories daily and added those. Few people saw the same thing. I enjoyed the freedom to show what I wanted and for it to be directly related to how I was feeling at that moment. A kind of mourning process. I enjoyed watching people engage, or not, with the work. Some confused, others rapt.
Now I’m here introduced Oblivia, a new project that explores similar threads as considered here. Five covers were shown as a teaser.
Oblivia is autobiographical, concerned with futility, and as fascinated as it is annnoyed by human nature.
I expect the initial phase of Oblivia to ready at the end of 2023.
Now I’m Here, 2023
Twenty-foot shipping container installation featuring around 225 photographs, 23 short stories, an untold number of bits of plastic, Lurker and Oblivia covers, a bag of teabag tags, drawings, big words in type, hand-painted and cut cloud masks, flowers and destroyed mobile screen protectors, among other things.
Freedom Redefined, Rotterdam Photo, 9-12 February 2023