“Photo-Nihilism”. It means taking pictures of what isn’t. The landscape of oblivion. The world you are looking at, when you are not looking at anything. The space that is unaccounted for, and what grows there.
A generation ago, the tagline for populist photography was the advertising slogan of Eastman Kodak: REMEMBER IT WITH PICTURES. Relentless marketing of this idea put cheap cameras in many eager hands. Family events, holidays, vacations, memorable occasions, these were their subjects. But now we are in a different world, and the use of photography might be to render that which is . . . forgettable. The stunning, never-to-be seen again world as vividly selected and seized by the person with a digital, automatic, free processing, camera. The new subject: a glittering wasteland that has been experienced by an existential witness. The riot of the present, precisely not going into any memory bank.
The “Kodak moment” was for the scapbook of the personal past, preserved only in the sentimental intention of the snapshot amateur. These scrapbooks were only randomly consulted; in fact the suggestion that photographs could preserve memories was a ruse, an advertising ploy that never had any basis in psychology or reality. General, untrackable, memory loss was more the result. Now, the unforseen, newly exciting job, which has a giddy generation enthralled, and comes with a devilish technology to aid and abet it, is to document the world that is looked upon but always disappearing. The landscape stared at in wonderment . . . and captured because it is in fact a picture of oblivion. It’s tagline shall be, that it RESISTS BEING REMEMBERED.