James Morris, Time and Remains- Reflections on the Palestinian Landscape. Aberystwyth Arts Centre until November 2nd 2013
I’m not sure how I stumbled across this photographer’s work but I am glad I did. His website is a feast for the eyes, with a penchant for architecture and landscape that really exposes culture.
I will not be able to see the exhibition because it is in Wales, but I’ll bet that it looks much more magnificent on the wall than on the computer screen. But here I want to talk about how good it does look on the screen. I have noticed that most photographers and artists do not display whole collections on their websites and I understand why. After all, if everything is available at the click of a button who would trek out to the gallery, or spend money on a book or a print.
I used to think like that too, but then I realized that it was akin to hiding the work and that is not why I made it. I make my images it to share. When we consider this body of work presented by Morris it is available on his website with detailed captions for that very reason. It is a work that needs to be shared. Has to be shared. The detailed writings about the images are concise and unemotional but hugely impactful. I can only imagine what it must be like for someone unfamiliar with the history to encounter these images and words, the two must go together here for maximum effect.
So what is the work all about? There are two sections, That Still Remains and When This Time Comes. The former looks at remnants of the past, the other the contemporary situation. I don’t need to say more as the website has a great written introduction.
I implore you to take the time to wade through the words so that when you look at the photographs the history will manifest itself within the visual experience. Stick with it to the end. I found it a very rewarding if somewhat upsetting experience. It was interesting because having the words changed some of the desolate images from a feeling of sadness and emptiness to rage, and that is a first for me with landscapes!
The link to the work in the exhibition is all on one page, just start at the top and scroll down. When you are finished take a look at the rest of the work on Morris’ website. Let me know what you think.