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Partitions

 

Partitions

2015–2018

 
Ayrshire, 2015

Ayrshire, 2015

‘…perhaps that’s what I feel, an outside and an inside and me in the middle, perhaps that’s what I am, the thing that divides the world in two, on the one side the outside, on the other the inside, that can be as thin as foil, I’m neither one side nor the other, I’m in the middle, I’m the partition, I’ve two surfaces and no thickness, perhaps that’s what I feel, myself vibrating…’
— Samuel Beckett, ‘The Unnamable’
 
 

When I put down my camera in late 2011 — for what I presumed would be forever — it was with regret and a feeling of defeat. My drive as a photographer had withered to a shred of what it once had been. My work had stagnated. I no longer felt or thought like a photographer. I gave up. I forgot.

Photography was reanimated within me in 2015. My life now a stark opposite of what it had been. It was comforting to know that the photographer in me hadn’t died, but had instead been hibernating. As I attempted to regain my footing, I began to question the nature of my work in a manner more fervently than in the past: ‘What purpose do my photographs serve? What is it they are documenting? What is the worth of the document? Am I seeking truth, creating fiction, or shaping something in between? Does it matter?’

Basel, 2015

Basel, 2015

For years before my break with photography, I had become accustomed to selecting public spaces as the stage for images to take shape upon. The chaos of bodies colliding, unplanned, in space and time had long struck me as rich fodder for the sorts of images that played off my curiosity (and naivety) about the world around me. Approaching the public spaces of my adopted home of London, camera in hand, and witnessing the necessarily more chaotic nature of the international metropolis, shadows of answers to the questions I’d been asking myself began to take shape. And yet I was cautious of arriving definitively at complete answers of any sort. The seeking, for me, is what’s important.

The body of work that has become — is indeed still becoming — ‘Partitions’ is a result of my compulsion to document unstaged phenomena within the parameters of a still photograph. What I seek in each of these photographs individually and collectively is something of an indecisive moment — devoid of resolution, an infinitesimally small window into the world, rich in the tensions between truth and fiction, presumption and intention, the observer and the observed — each ‘as thin as foil’.


‘Partitions’ is an ongoing series of work; text and photographs will be updated regularly, gaining or losing clarity until a presumed completion sometime in 2018.