What is past is prologue. We understand our history through photographs to determine the state of our present and plan for the future. What happens when the photographs that make sense of our history no longer exist? What happens to the future?
My new series What is Past is Prologue explores a history re-visioned and investigates what our past, present and future might look like if the images that we use to make sense of our history to imagine and set context for the future, ceased to exist.
There are thousands of significant photographs circulating the world online, sold as souvenirs, decorating our home interiors, parodied on gift cards, filling our coffee table books… as a global society we understand our world through these photographs and see them as incontrovertible proof of things that have happened. These images supply us not only with the record of the past, but provide us way of dealing with the present and ultimately guide us into the future.
My history re-visioned is made up of these socially significant images that have been digitally edited to remove the salient content, photographed on 4×5 film and printed as palladiums – becoming genuine archival documents of a history erased.
By removing the aura of the image, the authenticity of a photograph disappears and the image ceases to have an authority on the past. The new photographic image now asks the viewer: What happens when the photographs that make sense of our history no longer exist? What happens to the future? What would our world look like without the past recordings of the real?
This body of work is in progress.