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Daniel John


‘It’s Safe Behind the Glass’ is a working title, taken from an enclosure sign at the London Zoo. With its main goal to direct the act of our own “looking”, it posits quite profoundly a question of being within certain spaces. A question on the authority of being. Are we the ones looking, or the ones being looked at? Are we ever truly safer behind the glass? Forming an illustration of time loss, the photographs conceptualise a gap between perceived and physical reality – brushing against fleeting moments throughout realms of the domestic and the natural. Drawing manipulations inherent to large format photography, the images string together a narrative that is perpetually falling out of it’s own time. In this way, the photographs become spectres of memory, slipping into and out of sequence to show an affected familiar moment, a nod towards the Uncanny. With regards to the still life and the body, the photographs become timeless and frozen – further metaphors on memory. Referencing Virginia Woolf’s narrative techniques in Orlando and Mrs. Dalloway, the photographs drift past autobiography and into a personal narration - out of their timelines, out of their environments; they are familiar moments that have been changed. Identity becomes a perverse notion within this space: we are torn between one narrator and another. A study of the natural world as it moves around us: a meditation on our relationship to the fleeting and the isolated. We embark on this journey between being and becoming – we allow for a queering of common sights and spaces. The flower becomes charged as the Double within nature, playing witness to the shifts of the Sun. The window acts as the only portal to let these breaths of light pass through. We see transitions through season and sunlight in the same way that we follow a certain transition of self: the characters in these images acting as different bodies, different examples of the Queer Masculine, but connected so strangely by this confluence in time.

Queer Contemporaries > Daniel John Bracken

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