It’s easy to think of stone as cold but marble is a stone that quickly takes the warmth of the sun, and if we consider that most ancient statues stood about in the landscape, their bodies become softer, somehow more alive in our minds.
Time is of the essence (please excuse the cliché) in this photograph, the first of ten that I have been developing for about a decade. Here however the meaning of the cliché is flipped, instead of announcing the need to make haste, the opposite is true.
The time taken to make this work has seeped into it, somehow becoming part of it. There is a lot of waiting in this work which evokes (among other sensations) the deep exquisite stillness that comes with being forgotten and the exuberance that comes with resurfacing.
Geological time, archaeological time, oceanic time, good times, bad times, and (to bring it back to the camera) exposure times mingle with the limbo of the archive and the temporal mashups of contemporary museum display generating the pulse of the work.
In the lower right margin is a small image of a gelatin dry-plate negative (c.1910) sourced from an archive in Rome. It represents the badly damaged torso of a young Herakles made in Athens in 360BCE. A disquieting sense of serene brutality emerges at the breaks where the legs, arms and head once joined this figure. It is 1 of 9 large plates depicting the figure from different perspectives that were made to encourage the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC) to acquire the torso in the age when new-world institutions scrambled for old-world cultural legitimacy. The image is paired with a larger image, of the same torso, that I made with available light at the Met in 2017.
These images spill out into the light reflecting off an open, wind ruffled sea that I photographed (in 2019) not far from Athens, where the figure was created some 2300 years earlier.
This sets me thinking about the special bond between materiality of things and place and of homecomings ,of all kinds, as it reminds me of the exquisite sensation of cool air rushing into my lungs after swimming underwater for as long and far as possible.