Self-portrait of Photography
Light and darkness have an equal place within the process of photography; one cannot exist without the other. Upon looking at the printing process as well, it is through being in the dark and bringing light within the darkness, through which the image emerges. The same as the psychoanalytical analogy “To make light is to make a shadow, one cannot exist without the other” (quoting from Carl Jung).
I have used light sensitive photo paper covered with black wax to symbolise this play between light and darkness in both the photographic and psychoanalytical sense. Bee’s wax mixed with black oil paint to completely make the wax opaque, has been layered over the light sensitive paper to stop light hitting the photographic paper. This symbolises once again the process of ‘discovery’ on one hand the printing process of photography with Niepce layering bitumen over pewter in an attempt to produce the first photographic image, and the process of self-discovery that is encompassed in going through the different layers of one’s consciousness . The participant in this interactive piece of work would have to make a conscious choice to carve through the black wax – symbolising our shadow as if making the choice to bring light into their darkness – the empowering but difficult choice to self-discovery.