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Forgotten objects could be a notion of a time filled with dramatic events, intriguing characters, and gadgets appealing to the nostalgic. To reflect and to appreciate human life outside of one’s own time.
Here are 5 photographers exploring the theme “Forgotten Objects”.
1. Annie Leibovitz – Pilgrimage
In 2012, this famous fashion photographer turned away from the portrait and chose to study objects and places that are resonant with history. She took still life images of many things; Freud’s couch, Annie Oakley’s heart target, Georgia O’Keeffe’s front door to Emily Dickinson’s only surviving dress and the gloves that Abraham Lincoln wore the night he was assassinated.
This project was a personal adventure starting out with a small digital camera and ending up with more sophisticated cameras, tripod and travelling with an assistant. For the historian writing the introduction of Leibovitz’s book, it is all about the imagination of the subjects, “an inner game with history”
2. Jim Golden – Relics of Technology
This is such a great piece reminding us of how far technology has come. After finding a brick phone in Oregon, Golden was on a mission to photograph and to qualm curiosity of what had happened to these pieces of technology.
3. Jan Groover – Kitchen Still Lives
A conceptual piece by Jan Groover examines the boundaries of the photographic medium. Jan Groover began as a painter and moved quickly onto photography, she focused on the every day. She used lights in a way to transform itself into an object. Her inquiries into feminism are similar to artists of her time such as Tina Barney and Cindy Sherman. John Szarkowski wrote in 1987 “that her pictures were good to think about as they were first good to look at” and compared her the heir to Edward Weston.
4. Sam Taylor – Johnson – Still Life
This is a 3 min 44-second long video looking at mortality and beauty. It was made in 2001 on 35mm film and shown on a single screen projection. The colours and tones look romantic but including the bic pen adds the sense of modernism. It is simple and beautiful. A meditative piece encouraging the conversation about mortality. She comments that “Death it was not only violent but shockingly violent. The feeling of the transformation of life into death repeating itself over and over is so frightful and after those two works I sort of left the topic alone”.
5. Ishiuchi Miyako – Frida Kahlo’s possessions
Ishiuchi’s early childhood inspired her to produce her first body of work- ‘Yokosuka Story’. Ishiuchi Miyako, Shomei Tomatsu, and Daido Moriyama confronted the trauma of post-war Japan by using their cameras as tools to express, record and explore what it is to be Japanese. She is one of the first Asian women to win the prestigious Hasselblad Award. Concerned with the passing of time, she photographs and Frida Kahlo’s clothes and personal objects having only been found in 2004 after being hidden in a small bathroom. This was the first time she photographed outside of Japan.