terra incognita 2019/Photo London Satellite Event

A place called Lost: The distance of time, indelible impression and an amalgam of illegibilities, impasses and obscurities have tangled the real with the experiential and the imaginary. The landscape of childhood is my tangible reference – my uncharted territory is psychical. Working with my 5×4 view camera is slow and contemplative. I identify location, position and orientation. Set up, level, attach the lens and open the shutter. A black cloth shuts out the light and more, I compose in quietude. I frame my image upside down and back to front through the ground glass and focus. I measure light, set aperture, calculate exposure time, close and cock the shutter, load the film carrier, remove the dark slide and expose using the cable release; counting aloud the seconds my shutter is open, I break the silence. I replace the dark slide and remove the film carrier. A considered process and for this project, undertaken in winter. Production of Fuji FP100c-45 ceased in 2011, although initiatives seek to develop a ‘new’ instant 5×4, all prototypes to date have been deemed too expensive or too challenging to manufacture. Through this knowledge of obsolescence, each capture is imbued with an intensified preciousness. My processing technique facilitates a reduction of control – an unknowing, as important to the work as the land I photograph. Post-capture my instant positive exists purely for reference. Visible only in transience, it is the trace impression on the redundant backing that I reclaim. In its fragile state, wet with chemicals, immediately vulnerable, this is my negative; the scratches and scars endured overtly visible. When dry, I tape face down and remove the opaque emulsion. This negative is not fixed, there is no method for fixing therefore no guarantee of longevity. For this reason, the mark of time defines each darkroom print unique. I do not attempt graphic representation or wish for literal reading. I aim for resonance and affect.

 Andrea C Morley