One of the first things I notice when looking at a photograph from the late nineteenth century, is the yellow haze from which the represented forms seem to emerge. And then a break. A white blank in the middle of the image, where a waterfall should be seen. A mechanical failure, common in early black and white photography, creates this potential: a glow of light, emerging from the site of absent water that moved too quickly to be caught.

A crack in the coherence of an image, a burned or blown out area, creates the possibility for another image to emerge, generating a different sight. In the transformation of one image to another, vision is sensitised and sees another layer (of the image) — the invisible background: moving light. This opening, bringing forth a new image and sight, exists in the visual structure of an image alone. Neither context, reference nor index will reveal a living force.

When I think of early analogue photographic images, there are qualities that are intrinsic to their visual character: monochrome, with evidence of their sensitive material surface — scratches, specks, blurs, blanks. An image is visual matter — colours, lines, shapes, structures — as well as recognisable forms. Visual matter has the potential to change, to open, to generate new images: like paintings that can capture these intensities and intrinsic characters, and transform them. Like Antonioni, who blew up pictures, magnifying small abstract watercolours to reveal their granular paint, transforming them into a series of enchanted mountains.

I think this is the crucial aspect of an image.

painting   yellow   fragment   lake   light