IGNAZ CASSAR

Fields

Title: Fields
Date: 2006
Media: Unique black-and-white negative and its contact print. Metal frames.
Dimensions: 10 x 8 inch (framed: 14 x 12 inch)
> Previews: Installation view, Field #1Field #2Field #3Field #4Field #5
The series Fields explores the ability of black-and-white photography to ‘re-present’. Working on English landscape, the series brings together a variety of panoramic shots as well as motifs of its topographical features. Using a large format camera, each image is carefully composed as a scenic view onto the picturesque landscape, underscoring the depictive potential of photographic technology in general, and that of large format photography in particular.
Each photographic artwork in Fields consists of a 10 x 8 inch negative placed over its positive contact print. By superimposing the negative on the positive, the photographic image gets ‘negated’ and appears to be black. The photographic detail retreats into a monochromatic field of black. The outlines and contours of the image are discernable only from close view.

In a way, one could say that the image becomes suspended between the black fields produced by the negative and the positive. As each image is formed, the ability to reproduce each image, typical of photography, is brought to a halt. The role of the camera to record is stalled, just as the photographer’s purpose, to select and frame the scene, is troubled. The work also counteracts the picturesque quality of each view by turning it into a dark field. The depicted motifs disappear into the blackness of the photographic grain. Landscape rendered black.

Creative and ‘degenerative’ at the same time, the joining together of negative and positive in Fields causes the image to collapse into its own shadow. Rather than being confined to a photographic album or to an archive to be later employed as the prototype image for an infinite number of prints, in Fields the photographic negative together with its positive leads to a new artwork based on an unexpected visual convergence.