Obsolete and Discontinued

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I’m really happy to have been asked to contribute to this exhibition by Mike Crawford, another London printer, which is going to be part of the Revela-T photography festival in Spain during May and early June. I wrote about this project a while back but now it’s happening and hopefully will travel to another venue too.

The paper I chose was Kodak Royal Bromesko, a paper that was available between 1962 and the late 1970s, so at best, my paper is close to 40 years old. The image is from a series I have been working on titled Otherworld. Further information and other images can be found on my website here.

 

Otherworld O&D 564
Otherworld #01 — Scan from a print on Kodak Royal Bromesko

 

Here’s Mike’s account of how the project came about:

“In March 2015, a client gave me a quantity of old photographic paper and film. He had been clearing out his late uncle’s darkroom and decided I could either have it all or it would be thrown out. Over two visits I received a number of boxes and packets of material, the majority of which were papers that had ceased production many years ago. Most were at least 20 or 30 years old, indeed some far older. I sifted through boxes of familiar names such as Kodak Bromesko and Agfa Brovira considering what I should do with them.

 

Out of interest, I tested some of the paper in the darkroom. I was surprised at how well some of the older material printed. With further testing, it appeared that some paper, which was fogged and had proved useless with conventional developers, could produce quite interesting and compelling results using different processes such as lith printing. After conversations with fellow members of the London Alternative Photographic Collective, I decided it might be of interest to give out the paper to different photographers and artists to see what individual results each could produce.

 

Within a few months there were over 50 participants who had heard of the project and were interested in taking part. After testing and cataloguing the different papers, I distributed them to a wide variety of practitioners, not only in the UK, but also to many overseas. From this point it was down to their skill and creativity to produce work from the supplied paper and film.”

 

— Mike Crawford

The artists participating in this project are:

Joakim Ahnfelt, Andrew Atkinson, Laurie Baggett, Myka Baum, Molly Behagg, Daniel Berrange, Andy Billington, David Bruce, Jacquelene Butler, Andrew Chisolm, Mike Crawford, Beth Dow, Angela Easterling, Laura Ellenberger, Andrew Firth, Brittonie Fletcher, Hannah Fletcher, Asya Gefter, Claus Dieter Geissler, Robin Gillanders, Brian Griffin, JJ Hastings, Rosie Holtom, Nicola Jayne Maskrey, Melanie King, Morten Kolve, Ky Lewis, Jim Lister, Constanza Isaza Martínez, Hiro Matsuoka, Gabriela Mazowiecka, Sheila McKinney, Wolfgang Moersch, Helen Nias, Douglas Nicholson, Yaz Norris, Andrés Pantoja, Guy Patterson, Borut Peterlin, Almundena Romero, Bret Sampson, Debbie Sears, Holly Shackleton, Keith Taylor, Joan Teixidor, Evan Thomas, Madaleine Trigg, Sebnem Ugural, Tanja Verlak, Andrew Whittle, Guillame Zuili.

Projects or Single Images?

From Jörg M. Colberg‘s article in Conscientious magazine — “Why does it always have to be about something?” 

Every day, I’m being bombarded with a flurry of pedestrian pictures, grouped in projects that are “about” this or that. These days, photographs always have to be “about” something. Pictures can never be merely pictures.

 

Make no mistake, a group of pictures will have to add up to something. A group of random pictures that doesn’t add up to anything is just that, a group of random pictures. And I’m not more interested in that than in the pedestrian projects… The history of photography is filled with practitioners operating along the line of groups of single pictures.

I’m not one of those photographers who needs to be working with specific projects all the time; I’m at my happiest carrying a camera around and making photographs wherever I end up. At some point they start making sense together, as a group.