Where Shadows Fall -  Ghosts of Urban Decay

“Aesthetically, the presence of decay introduces us to a narrative that the pristine space cannot afford”. (Trigg, The Uncanny Space of Decay)

In this series I was looking at establishing a sense of connection with the past as if to

merge my shadow (spirit) with the ghosts of from a former existence.

That uncanny aesthetic pleasure derived from the ravages of time, the nostalgia, the

musty smell and the impermanence of material things wraps me into a seductive

melancholy. The remaining debris haunts me and brings back half-forgotten memories of childhood. There is an abundance of visual triggers that could only be found in a space like this.

In my series of photographs I included my own shadow as a portable flash-head cast it across the flaking walls, the debris, the rotting doors and the fading curtains. In some instances I also utilised the light from bare bulbs hanging from the ceilings. Not unlike the phantasmagorical projections of the magic lantern in 17th century theatre. In the process of losing myself in the space I abandoned all exterior thoughts as I sought to interact with the seductive elements of presence and absence through this reflective engagement with time. Like Derrida’s theory of hauntology, I was seeking to bleed the past into the present by making myself a “ghost” in this landscape and liberating myself from ulterior fears in the process. I wanted to connect with the defunct architecture, the ominous silence, the artefacts and the filthy remains that were speaking back to me. This is an environment I feel comfortable in.

© 2020 by JOSEPH P SMITH. Proudly created with Wix.com

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