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2/06/2014 – Anirban Datta

Weathered Photography – An Alive Art Project

Photography is a postindustrial art form with a strong humanistic paradigm of practice where the artist fixes a moment at a particular instant to immortalize  memory. The artist’s choice of the moment, his control over the composition, exposure and other artistic parameters occurring at that very moment becomes of great importance. And thus the photographer emerges like the God who has fixed a moment in space-time and immortalized it. The photographer rides on a high platform with a glee as an artist. But is this pedestal really true? One that is immortalized loses life at that very moment, as life is the most precious possession of the mortals.

My idea of working on previously taken photographs is to unfix them and bring back life into them. My method is weathering the photographs. By unfixing a photograph the aim is to dissolve the artist’s ego of his being into becoming. As the effect of weathering makes it transform every moment till a point when the image of the photograph ceases to exist, making it one of the purest form of conceptual art with its content in its absence.

Also, as an artist with post avant-garde intensions I am looking at the photographed memory that undergoes the process of weathering as an ongoing interaction of that memory of the past reacting with the present. Processes of weathering have their own memories to add. Burying a photograph is different from bleaching it under tropical sun or putting it under a mountain stream as all these have different memory associations with us at a personal level as well as collectively. Thus weathering creates the meta-time reacting with the photographed memory of the past. Personally I am finding it very intriguing when I am trying to decide which of the weathering process should be applied on a particular photograph. This part is the extremely personal experiential journey for me in this project.