Untitled Document

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John Miller
A TRAIL OF AMBIGUOUS PICTURE POSTCARDS

June 28 - July 18, 1997
This 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 a thing.

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 haiku.

John Miller stayed at CCA Kitakyushu as professor of the Research Program during May 25 to June 30 1997.
 
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