Golden Amnesia unites the works of Brian Reed and Jamie Robinson whose individual practices employ photography in order to examine its essence: Time. Both artists’ works in Golden Amnesia elicit what Roland Barthes in Camera Lucida (1980) calls the “punctum”: “A photograph’s punctum is that accident which pricks me (but also bruises me, is poignant to me).” Time, observes Barthes, is the “pure representation” of the punctum: “This new punctum, which is no longer of form but of intensity, is Time . . .” The punctum in photographs is observable in what Barthes terms the “that-has-been”: “The name of Photography’s noeme [essence] will therefore be: “that-has-been”.” A sudden realization of “that-has-been” in a photograph is spontaneous like a shock; it pierces the viewer as they discover its presence which cannot be perceived by the photographer or its subject/s, only the observer.
In Golden Amnesia Reed presents new works in his series “Do Not Become What You See” which are large-scale reproductions of passport photographs the artist collects by chance. “Do Not Become What You See” evolves out of Reed’s collection of unknown people’s lost personal photographs amassed over a period of 20 years. Reed’s oversize portraits are photographic sculptural monuments to the “other”, an unknown person onto whom the viewer projects their own narratives. Robinson’s works in Golden Amnesia encompass street photography, portraits of Donald Judd’s outdoor sculptures in Marfa, Texas, as well as images of commonplace encounters. Time operates as a punctum in both artists’ works: Reed’s “Do Not Become What You See” works are photographs taken by their unknown subjects at an indiscernible time; in Robinson’s works the punctum is apparent in the “that-has-been” which only unveils itself over time.
Brian Reed (BA Hons Graphic Design, Central Saint Martins, London) lives and works in London. Exhibitions include Paraphernalia of an Emotional Clearing (2013), CARTER presents, London; Walls (2011), UNION Gallery, London; and Unrealised Potential (2011), Cornerhouse, Manchester. His work is included in the collections of Nicolas Logsdail (Lisson Gallery), Charles Saatchi, and University of the Arts Collection (London). Jamie Robinson (MA (RCA) Fine Art, Royal College of Art, London) is a photographer whose work has been published in Dazed and Confused, The Independent, The Guardian, and Blueprint Magazine. His most recent solo exhibition was Inside the Belly of the Beast (2012) at noshowspace, London.
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