Photofusion Member | Dafna Talmor
My work is based around an obsessive preoccupation with home and until recently, consisted predominantly of photographs taken in interior spaces with mere suggestions of outside space. When I stepped outside with my camera, I felt overwhelmed by the absence of limitations provided so neatly by interior space. Despite this and out of a personal need to ‘take’ a place with me, I found myself taking pictures of landscapes whenever I travelled. This growing personal archive of landscapes forms the basis of Constructed Landscapes.
Taken with no conceptual agenda, the negatives accumulated for years in boxes, denied of any artistic function. In time, while looking through countless contact sheets I had collected, I realised that merging images of different places of personal meaning could create idealised and utopian landscapes and thus assign function to these seemingly defunct negatives.
Photographs initially taken as mere keepsakes across different locations are transformed through the act of slicing and splicing. The resulting photographs are a conflation, ‘real’ yet virtual and imaginary. This conflation aims to transform a specific place, initially loaded with personal meaning, memories and connotations, into a space that has been emptied of subjectivity and becomes universal. As in previous work, I am interested in creating a space that defies specificity, refers to the transient, and metaphorically blurs space, memory and time.
Constructed Landscapes is made in response to the loaded genealogy and clichéd tropes of the photographic genre of landscape. It aims to raise questions around the production and consumption of these types of images, making reference to and taking inspiration from notions of the Sublime and Romanticism.
Very consciously in dialogue with the history of photography, Constructed Landscapes references early pictorialist tendencies of combination printing as well as modernist experimental techniques such as montage, collage and multiple exposures. While distinctly holding historical references, the work also engages with contemporary discourses on manipulation, the analogue/digital divide and the effects these have on photography’s status and its slippery relationship with reality.
Dafna Talmor, a visual artist based in London, has been exhibiting work nationally and internationally since 1999. Talmor completed her BA Fine Art at Goldsmiths (2001) and MFA in Photography at the Royal College of Art (2004), London. Her photographs are included in public collections such as Deutsche Bank and Hiscox and numerous international collections. Her work has been featured in publications such as ArtReview, Camera Austria, Hotshoe and the recent issue of Elephant. In 2005 she was nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Artist Award, received the IV Daniela Chappard Biennale Photography Award in 2007 and is one of the current recipients of the Photofusion Select Bursary Award. Alongside her art practice, Talmor is a freelance lecturer and runs workshops in different contexts under Cameraworks, an initiative she co-founded in 2007. In 2008, she set up a shared studio with darkroom facilities, which she runs in partnership in East London and co-curated and participated in TestBed 1, an ambitious series of artist residencies, events culminating in an exhibition at Beaconsfield in 2010. She was recently selected for a residency at the Old Lookout Gallery in Broadstairs that will take place in August 2013.
All images are Untitled from the Constructed Landscapes series
C-prints made of collaged and montaged negatives