My current photographic work brings together my established interests in identity and wider theoretical considerations of observation: what it means to observe and be observed.
For a number of years my existing practice of video, text and performance has been rooted in the idea of identity being created through a process of exchange. This is both through our interaction with other people (external exchange) and our recalled experiences and memories (internal exchange). I have worked in partnership with neuroscientists and psychologists as well as actors, clairvoyants and those who experience alter identities, in order to make sense of how our mental narratives and internal voices create us, while at the same time being created by us. This has previously manifested in my video and performance works in which I exchange and reconfigure voices (2 into 1 2009; Imago 2011; Exchange 2013; Love Letters 2015; What is Socrates Phone Number? 2016).
My recent interest in Quantum Physics has come via the identity politics of Judith Butler to Karen Barad and then to Nobel Prize winning physicist Niels Bohr. Starting from Bohr’s Copenhagen Interpretation which theorized that reality is only summoned into existence through the act of looking at it, I aim to draw parallels between observation theory and identity formation. Taking its title from an often shared Niels Bohr's quote on the nature of Quantum Physics: ‘Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real’ is a body of work exploring the relationship between reality and individual identity, drawing on photography's means to observe and document place, people and performance.
Still Life Art Schrödinger
Bohr’s Copenhagen Interpretation is commonly explained through the Schrödinger’s Cat thought experiment. These still lives are presented as diptychs of the unopened box and the open box. The implication being the object exists in a related and opposite form elsewhere. E.G. in Left Glove - a right glove exists elsewhere. In Cuckoo (a symbol for Envy often used in my work - the outward looking nature of my identity), the Mirror (a symbol for Narcissus, the inward looking part of me) exists elsewhere.
Everything we call real
In December the artist undertook a residency at the Niels Bohr archive in Copenhagen, with a planned research methodology to apply three different forms of observation; photography, drawing and audio recordings, to the place, people and artefacts of the archive
Presented here are the results of one of those methodologies: photographs of the place. However, included in the images of Bohr’s study and lecture theatre are objects brought in by the artist (a mirror, potted narcissus bulbs, a vase of flowers) as a way to represent the presence and impact of the observer, alongside the thing being observed.