Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The curious art of camera-less photography

London is in a very arty mood this week. Perfect timing for the Victoria and Albert Museum to launch its new exhibition, Shadow Catchers: Camera-less photography - featuring the curious art of photography without a camera.

The show features the work of five leading artists and includes around 75 photographs that explore the simple and powerful effects of light and science - with results than often appear surreal, enigmatic or abstract.

Apparently, camera-less photography can be made using a variety of vintage techniques, the most common of which are the photogram, the luminogram and the chemigram. The exhibition flyer explains that “These techniques are sometimes used in combination. Many involve an element of chance.”

Hit or miss camera-less techniques were first explored by the pioneers of photography by blocking light, casting shadows on light sensitive paper, or chemically manipulating its surface. These sorts of experiments were rediscovered by 20th century artists, including Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy and revived by contemporary image makers in the past twenty years.

Anyway, to find out more about the various methods and what can be achieved by using camera-less techniques, simply pop down to the V&A, where the exhibition is open from today.

Accompanying the relatively recent works, The Photography Gallery is also showing a display of early photograms from the V and A’s collection, which just happens to be the oldest museum photography collection in the world.

Martin Barnes, the Senior Curator of Photographs at the V and A points out that the exhibition provides a welcome and “surprising alternative to increasingly mass-produced, digital camera imagery.” That being said, ShopCurious managed to sneak in a few shadow catching digital images of the museum foyer - along with these rather animated looking classical statues.

Judging from my initial look around, I'd say there's a lot more to camera-less photography than meets the eye. Definitely something worth investigating further...

Will you?


Ivania santos By DIAMOND said...

Great pics!

Susan said...

wow really interesting indeed!

worm said...

the statue pic is ace!!! looks like a movie set (moloko milk bar in clockwork orange..?)

Yuval Cadmon said...

Thanks for the information!