Issue 65 — Winter 2010
In keeping with the tenor of this issue the four artists featured have almost nothing in common. As Mari Mahr explains in her extended interview with Duncan Forbes, her work involves the layering of different photographed objects that relate to her memories of people and places. Anthony Haughey has been photographing abandoned building sites left behind by the collapsed Irish property market, a symptom of the wider crisis in the Irish economy. Meanwhile, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin have been commissioned by Belfast Exposed to make work in response to their community photographic archive. They examine evidence of how it has been handled: recovering from contact sheets the marks and scribbles of previous users, and behind stickers a collection of latent, round 'dot' images. Together this work shows the vitality and diversity of contemporary photographic practice and its capacity to approach any subject, be it the political, the personal or the way photographic meaning itself is constructed.
In 2007 we published an article about clichés in contemporary photography. This struck a chord with a number of readers but also begged the question, if these are the hackneyed styles or subjects what should photographs focus on? So for this issue we have asked a number of editors, writers and curators, what they would like to see photographed, and they have given us a number of different answers.
Not everyone we asked was from the world of photography so some have related our question to their own disciplines (astronomy and geography). Others have taken it as a philosophical question (photograph 'nothing') or a question of ethos (be 'personal and emotional'). David Campany offers an exercise he conducted with students that involves a kind of random subject generator and Martin Parr wards us off more clichés (the 'bent lamppost'). Only Mary Warner Marien has given us a list of concrete examples, so from her cue we look forward in the future to seeing more pictures of offices, shopping malls and 'restaurant ladies rooms'.
— The Editors