Photography is now an ‘every-man’ medium, but what of the founding techniques of photography, of the pure essence of ‘capturing light’?
The exhibition consists of three contemporary photographers using founding and traditional photographic techniques, such as camera obscuras, collodian and film photography.
Matthew Andrew explores preconceptions of what a reference photograph should be and how much information is conveyed to the viewer using a visual medium. His featured work, Mimesis uses film photography and is a series of images exploring truth, knowledge and photographic representation.
Jo Gane’s work, Ancient and Modern, uses the wet plate collodian process, an historic photographic process invented in 1850. It involves coating glass plates with collodian chemistry, sensitizing plates in silver nitrate then exposing in the camera before developing or fixing, all in less than 10 minutes. Her work aims to question the value placed on age and authenticity within the art/photographic market.
Minnie Weisz’s photographs are taken in abandoned and forgotten buildings in and around London. Within their rooms she creates narratives from the abandoned objects found inside that relate to the building’s history, and the view that floods the room from outside. Using pinhole technique, traditional photography and documentary, Weisz weaves stories into the interior world of a building, creating an ode to each place she inhabits through photography.
Non obsolescence is curated by Charlie Levine, director of Birmingham’s independent contemporary art gallery TROVE. She says: “The location for this important exhibition at Down Stairs is entirely intentional. These classic photographic formats changed the world, revolutionised documentation and altered our perceptions of life and truth. These artists represent how our views of the world have changed, and represent a reason why the everyman photographer should ‘go home’.”