Arrival is a Story of Black and white, of people changing stations, arriving in a new place.
A conscious upheaval.
“It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”
I am interested in religion, territorial dispute through racism within the mind, and racial gaze more prominently to deconstruct the white gaze.
I have took this gaze to my hometown Blackpool and placed it upon people found arriving at points of public intersection. This project asks the viewer personal questions about how they visualize the other and themselves.
Ultimately I hope to visualize and break down subconscious barriers built through white racial patriotic ideology’s.
I photographed ethnically diverse groups at stations where they intersect and merge in society hoping to create an icon that promotes multiculturalism and equality.
At best within this photographic project I would like to find a temporary ocular-centric antidote that is a long lasting reminder to failed concepts that have built walls in society. I would like these photographs to be a symbolic antidote to racism that can continually gaze back at future viewers.
In Black Lives matter Nicolas Mirzeof in his seminal book quotes
By contrast, police or official photography looks how the state wants it’s subject to look, not how people see themselves. Even under such circumstances, refusal and resistance can sometimes be seen, although a price may be paid for that refractory gesture.
Where authority uses photography to order, divide and control, people can use photographs to send a message to present and future audiences against such division.
German philosopher and antifascist Walter Benjamin called these moments “dialectical images.”
Nicolas mirzeof in his book Black Lives Matter, also stated that,
In the revolutionary space of appearance, abolition de-mocracy prefigures the commons. This space of appearance is not space in an abstract sense but makes a claim to be grounded. It is created by people seeing each other, inventing each other, and thereby creating a common space of appearance between them, as if created through suggested Streams of consciousness delivered from a persons past.
There is something quite primal and sinister in the act of looking at the other and its differences that is hard to swallow. To look at something you deem as below you is to instantly psychologically molest them, and to instinctually want to extinguish them with perceived superiority by mocking or seeing them as they never see themselves. To release them of their right to even exist within your gaze.
These primal concepts are hard to lose and become passed across generations turning people into objects (dehumanizing), which are symbolically ignored or mocked as non-existent. Thus creating psychological excuses for *hatred often for very trivial reasons that result in catastrophe.
Just recently I met the most humble Asian migrant travelling through Preston train station setting up to start a new life with just a small bag of possessions I was treat as an outsider myself for helping this individual by some inebriated locals.
So the idea grew from this chance meeting and a collision of thoughts, whilst reading Nicolas Mirzeofs book Black Lives matter. I started questioning local national behavior and attitudes as forms of artificially constructed historical racial mimesis that hold local people captive within their own minds.
The sheer ridiculousness of attitudes in our culture, the way people look at each other and why this behavior exists gave birth to Arrival.
The subject of gaze often has a preconceived idea of how a viewer perceives a subject. The looker has a preconceived notion that projects into their mind as they look and this is influenced greatly by fake or exaggerated historical context displayed to them in media and text through semiotics, theory and ideas.
What is the notion projected upon your mind whilst viewing these photographs?
Looking is largely culturally constructed and media informed rather than one’s true opinion, which I believe does not exist within today’s hyper real society.
A place or position in which a homologous person or thing is normally located.
A station is just a place, a place to keep things. A station has no owner it ardently accepts anyone into its space without restrictions it would a positive step if we could treat each other like the station treats the people located within its space.
I hope this text and these photographs help people understand and improve their own behavior.
The viewer’s thoughts upon gazing at these photographs echo a nations failings within negative tensions created between the viewer and subjects. I hope to remind and make the viewer highly reflective of these problems faced through this gaze in society. I would hope to find a conclusion that helps fight against or remind us of these frameworks of thought as an antithesis or visual solution to the problem.
All races should have visual equality and superiority within each other’s minds, hopefully we can one day all look at images and not have stigmatizing concepts enter them.
* Trayvon Benjamin Martin was a 17-year-old African American from Miami Gardens, Florida, who was fatally shot in Sanford, Florida by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer.