Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography.
Susan Derges / V&A Channel

Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography. Susan Derges / Photography / People / V&A Channel.

Many of the topics that she touched on are very emotional. The idea that photography is very much linked to the death of a moment, the loss of being or the dissolution of a moment. The whole idea of process is interconnected with insight, emotion, and artistry.

Process is a catalyst for reflection, and it is a switchboard for creativity. At every step different creative processes can branch from processes. Pierre Cordier or Mr Chemigram who was part of the same exhibition gleaned the process of chemigraphy from the process of developing film and photography. Though calculated, much of his work is left to work on its own with chemical reactions, physics and gravity.

The darkroom provides a blank thinking space – in Adam Fuss’ words, manifesting images is the bringing out and externalising of emotion. It is therapeutic and cathartic – is this process lost in digital photography? Or will new generations find their own ways of injecting this healing into the instantaneity that is digital photography?

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Another exhibition that relates to process is Tacita Dean’s Film for the Unilever Series – she states that she ‘found its rhythm and metre from the material itself’, and that ‘constraints and disciplines of working with a medium are essential to shaping the finished product’.


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