TRAIL OF AMBIGUOUS PICTURE POSTCARDS
June 28 - July 18, 1997
gallery project exhibition presents as a composition of approximately
15 photographs along with table and chars arrange as a dining room.
These photographs are part of an ongoing project called The Middle
of the Day.
I shot them at different times and in different places always between
the hours of 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. Not entirely sure whether to work
or to rest, many experience this as a difficult and ambiguous interlude.
One's exact subjective experience, of course, varies according to
culture, history and personality. It nonetheless also takes shape
through objective factors such as capitalist political economy, the
Protestant work ethic or a degree of repression intrinsic to any culture.
Thus, I try to record that experience. As documentation the pictures
are paradoxical. Their subject is abstract on a social relation, not
They concern the question of valuing time and representing everyday
life. In mass culture two definitions of everyday life prevail:
I) that which one always already knows and
ii) that which is too insignificant to represent.
Together, the two create a vicious circle that may explain why the
most immediate material so often remains mysterious.
These photos cannot solve that mystery, but they can allude to viewers'
inability to comprehend, in concrete terms, the conditions of the
lives they are living.
Here, De Chirico's piazza paintings inspired me: absolute stillness
in the middle of town in the middle of the day. Even so, rather than
striving for a sense of surreality, I wanted to try to retain a sense
of the Real (that which cannot be sublimated).
Every picture in the world is ultimately a picture of the world. A
picture not only portrays an empirical subject, it also reproduces
the system of values through which one understands it.
I accordingly try to exploit and idea of the system of values through
which one understands it. I accordingly try to exploit and idea of
the normative picture by reproducing a common pictorial vernacular.
Instead of confronting viewers with avant-gardistic contradictions,
my photos confront viewers with an absence of contradictions In a
sense, they are pictures of pictures. In this, their model is the
John Miller stayed at CCA Kitakyushu as professor of the Research
Program during May 25 to June 30 1997.