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Shadow Objects

Photographic prints

From an ongoing series of photographic erasure.


While making these digital images I am also thinking and reading about Jacques Derrida's trace. The trace can be thought of as neither present or absent, no element of the sign is every fully there or not there, the trace is not the remainder of something gone but it is a mark of what was never fully there in the first place.


According to Derrida, writing is ‘nothing but black, a shadow-writing, writing for protection’, and ‘its clarity derives from that which it excludes, that which is withdrawn, removed, outside of it, which is separate. This is meaning and truth. If writing is protection, if it casts a shadow to shelter us, then it conceals as much as it reveals.


The photographs are of objects that appear both absent and present, disrupting the sense of defined territory and resisting immediate interpretation. The shadowy trace produces a liminal space, which exists somewhere between physical presence and absence. In using the computer to make sense of the difference between an object and its background the oppositional positions of figure and ground are challenged. The ambiguity of the images produced refers to the as-yet-unwritten, the as-yet-unread, the as-yet-unthought.

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