Incidental monuments

Photography has the power to confer significance on objects and scenes, as I discussed in a recent post. And this characteristic is something I’m exploring in a sub-project of The Layered Land called Incidental Monuments.

La Pointe du Raz, Finistère, Brittany, France

These pictures take modern objects and treat them as though they are ritual spaces, ancient monuments or perhaps accidental artworks. The picture above, for example, is a platform built to give tourists a spectacular view of the scenery of La Pointe du Raz in Finistère. But it looks to me like the kind of place where virgins are sacrificed.

Orne, Normandy, France

Every year when the hay is gathered, the fields become littered with straw bales that appear like some giant art installation.

As with the Sacred Golf project, my aim here is to explore how we project meaning on to the world around us.

All of the objects and scenes featured in Incidental Monuments are mundane. They acquire significance only from the way they regard them and because of the fact that I have chosen to photograph them and present them in a particular way.

Of course, how you see them depends on the experience, expectations and desires that frame how you see the world. And perhaps on your mood on any particular day. That’s true of all photographs and it’s something I like to encourage in my work by, hopefully, not being too didactic. I think ambiguity is something to be cherished and enjoyed because it means we can all enjoy the images in our own ways.

So, maybe you don’t see virgins being sacrificed – perhaps that’s just me.

» View the Incidental Monuments portfolio »


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