The cover track on the current version of Donovan’s album Catch the Wind is followed by the version produced for the single of the same song. It has the same words, same music and of course same voice but is somehow so different. Both are good but are different. I was listening to the album in the car after reading about repeat/rephotography. With the passage of time things cannot be the same. Showing the same thing at different times makes a comment on the passage of time.
Repeat Photography in Landscape Research (Margolis, E./Pauwels. L) sets out the importance of vantage point and lighting to obtaining a repeat photograph. The Pyramid Lake pictures in the above article shows one by Timothy O Sullivan in 1867, by Mark Klett in 1979 and Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe in 2000. Significant changes occur through time. This is evidence of the passage of time and of change in the same location. The images raise questions about why this change has occurred and then further work is necessary to understand what has happened to make these changes occur.
Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe’s ‘Four views from four times and the same shoreline Lake Tenaya, 2002’ are all shot within 20 feet of each other. At first it is a little unsettling seeing such images combined in this way. Mixing up different times for one place but in the same presentation. It is a different experience to looking at repeat photographs side by side and for me does stimulate thoughts about time. Time appears so much more difficult to locate than place.
I had a go at rephotography. The house below is called Casa Dura and is near where I live in Spain. It has many interesting rumours about it relating to the Spanish Civil War. This is a photograph from the past. I have not yet been able to determine the year.
The following image is my attempt at rephotographing this same house today.
As you can see it has been abandoned and has changed from its former glory. The house interests me for my project as a once lived in fully functioning house can be a metaphor for a fully functioning human being. I am also interested to explore the rumours of beheadings of Fascists on the stone table you see to the left.
The task of rephotographing is difficult. If I go to the right of this space where I believe the original shot was taken from there are now trees and other bushes in the way so you can’t actually see the house. It is a start and already throws up many interesting questions. Why is it abandoned now? What happened to it? Is it cursed? What happened to the people living in the house originally? Is it a metaphor for a damaged human being?
I will make some more efforts to get closer to the original shot. This initial process has been stimulating and made me think about the passage of time. The location also makes me think about the liminality of space as something that is now clearly abandoned by humans is re-inhabited by the natural world.
I found Nicholos Nixon’s Browns Sisters in the video fascinating to look at. Astonishing how much stays present but also how many differences there are. There is a sense of ageing but also hints at the lives they might be living. With no other context given it would be easy to make up stories with each of these pictures. I am interested in this for my project as I will be photographing myself at different times as part of sharing the experience of living with someone who is chronically ill with Multiple Sclerosis. For example what to these photographs say about me if I give you no other context?
To be rephotographs they should both be in the same place but they are repeat photographs of me. Something I am interested in is what can be gleaned about my internal state from pictures like these without more context and input from me? In both of these pictures my internal state was more like the currently abandoned version of Casa Dura as a house above. With this input it throws a different set of possible narratives to what is going on to any viewer.