Brisbane I & II, 2010 : Artist Statement

 

Brisbane is both an anti-portrait and an anti-landscape.

The work deliberately subverts the photographic cliché of Cartier-Bresson's decisive moment, by depicting a photographic scenario in which choosing a moment to freeze in time is both useless and impossible: any of a thousand moments before or after would have produced an equally satisfactory and surprising result.

Similarly, it is futile to look for the subject of the image or the intention of the photographer in what to include or exclude from the content. This can be read as a flip to Roland Barthes for whom a lack of complete control over the subject matter in the frame and intention by the artist is a reason for photography to fail as an art form and simultaneously the source of its poignancy.

Brisbane's entire power lies precisely in its refusal to choose the moment or control the image. What we do see is an overwhelming amount of information: people and interactions, an environment both natural and artificial, but most importantly forces and tensions. Implied and ignored, engaged and released, overt and tacit. It's not the people or the trees, the fences or the sky that matter. It's the visible, almost palpable tension within this rhizome of society and environment without a focus point (the spectacle that everyone has turned out to see remains unseen) that constitutes the image and gives it its meaning.