Reflection: Levels of meaning

In my previous assignment I recognised the use of A4 paper as a symbol of standardisation in framing my shadowgram abstractions of light and shadow. The connotations being that standardisation is a part of human desire to organise and simplify the processes of work, play, etc. The rhetoric I have been pursuing in my BoW with formations is the importance of gaps/intervals/pauses in the arrangement of works to provide a physical space that can psychically engage the viewer (Campany, 2018) to ‘read between the lines’ and form his/her own opinion on the subject of representation. Representation is a burden (Tagg, 1988) on the image and image maker which as Douglas Crimp says “…can never be fulfilled, insofar as the original is always deferred.” (Crimp, 1993, p.111). I believe that in providing this ‘psychic space’ in my site-specific work I am working towards easing the burden on the image maker to be conclusive, definitive, not to sell a way of seeing to the viewer, but to facilitate a discussion based on shared experience of the image.

As there are no figurative subjects in my abstractions there is little direct utilisation of innuendo or euphemism. Although I have previously alluded to both On Exactitude in Science (Borges, 1946) and Plato’s Allegory of the Cave as inspirations in previous notes and reflections.

The levels of meaning I potentially see in my BoW to date include:

  • The limitations of the photographic image in isolation

  • A physical example (like an installation) of what photography is

  • A demonstration of the process of making

  • The value of ‘shared experience’ between the image maker and the viewer

  • The potential of plurality in the non-representational image

  • Identify standardised forms in daily life

  • The synergy between standardisation and abstraction

This resonates with my creative influences, both photographic and in other disciplines. The shared insight I gain from such influences like James Turrell and Lee Ufan is the work of art being a facilitator of ‘encounter’ as opposed to an assertion of a point of view. It is in this spirit, much like sculptures move ‘off the pedestal’, that I want to continue to explore within photography.


Campany, D (2018) ‘Physical Space, Image Space, Psychical Space’ In: At: (Accessed on 04.12.18)

Crimp, D (1993) On the Museums Ruins. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Tagg, J (1988) The Burden of Representation. London: MacMillan Press.