Peter Day

The Garden Manifesto

This project was created as a departure from the images I was creating for the project Invisible Boundaries (shot between 1999 and 2002). The images in The Garden Manifesto (04.11.2000) reveal a concentration on a specific object, at a specific moment in time. The images show the momentous power of the moment, and its temporary passing, recorded and captured photographically. The emotional nature of being present at these moments passing is what I was trying to visualise. The bed is abandoned both literally and physically, as it passes from the here now, its real and experiential existence to the recorded future now and its loss recorded between this its past present and its now existing future. Here merely as image and an irreducible fact of recorded existence.

In each of these projects I have been interested in the camera’s recording of the real, the act of making images and what experientially the image leaves out. All have serially reflected similarity and difference. In essence this work offered me an opportunity to make further practical works, which challenges the notion of a singular expressive image within a series (archive). This in turn measures (a period/fragments of) time, and thus becomes a representation of time photographically. The recording of my personal space measures and quantifies some notions of myself (my time and my movement), and my space, which then inter-relate and create meaning.(Artists statement,2007)

The rest of existence, real existence around these images is concealed, as is the desire at these moments passing. The desire to be and remain here at this moment photographed is real and equally futile. The ability to capture this moment is equally futile yet psychologically real, as an emotion and memory. The images are an emotionally mute commentary to the memory and drama of this scene. I have often questioned the vernacular of photography and its ability to record the experiential and emotional. It is its neutrality to emotion that often gives the image its cool distance and tangent to that taking place in front of the lens.

Absence of individuals is a major tenet of this work in what I call the ‘just left’ images. In The Garden Manifesto (04.11.2000)  I was trying to photograph something and somebody who was no longer there. They are imaged and imaginary at the same time in the real time recording and in real time existence. Many of my photographs are of moments where the images occupiers have just departed the scene. A visual recording of an abandonment of their/my story and the images are a pursuit of their shadows. Forgetting is biologically and intrinsically a status of being human, yet these intimate spaces and our homes reveal some common and transcending themes.