Taken in 1999 the photographs in this series were my first in colour after finishing with black and white photography in 1997. Captured on a Mamiya C220 medium format film camera the images have lain dormant for 21 years until recently. Now scanned and sequenced, they picture how I was seeing the world at the time, exploring the “conflict” between the made image and the desire for multiple viewpoints (Deixis); accepting the existence of the made image while desiring the multiple other.
This work is about being in the world and transcending it, and recognising that we can exist between the phenomenal and the noumenal. As has been said of Joseph Cornell’s boxes, “They partake of both dream and reality, and of something else that doesn’t have a name. They tempt the viewer in two opposite directions. One is to look and admire… and the other is to make up stories about what one sees… Neither (way) by itself is sufficient. It’s the mingling of the two that makes up the third image.”1
The Thirdspace – in which “everything comes together… subjectivity and objectivity, the abstract and the concrete, the real and the imagined, the knowable and the unimaginable, the repetitive and the differential, structure and agency, mind and body, consciousness and the unconscious, the disciplined and the trans-disciplinary, everyday life and unending history”2 – allows that none of these couples, such as the phenomenal and the noumenal, can be divided by an either-or attitude. “This… does not mean differences are denied, instead, it most of all means the inevitable reciprocity of any pair of definitions. In such a case both leave a mark on the other. It is a question of both-and – how each of the pair influences the other.”3
In the case of the series, this reciprocity allows the images to possess a multivalent narrative, which is neither here nor there. It allows the work to be accessible to different interpretations, meanings, and values: a new door or path opens up on the basis of very diverse needs and objectives. These photographs, untraceable gifts from photography itself, are marks of candour and authenticity, both descriptions of a stable object and the fleeting glance of a picture caught on the run (thirdspace). As an artist the concerns expressed in them through their visual literacy (their music) – that is, an investigation into our fluid identity and shifting place in the world – are still with me today, themes that orbit a mysterious sun.
We see our life on this Earth not as a story, but as scattered and suggestive clues… found in nature as fragmented and unexplained forms seen from unexpected vantage points – visions that may, eventually, coalesce into a whole that makes life sustainable, surreal.
Dr Marcus Bunyan 2021
© Marcus Bunyan
Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.
Photographs are available from this series for purchase. As a guide, a digital colour 16″ x 20″ print costs $1,000 plus tracked and insured shipping. For more information please see the Store web page.
- Simic, Charles. “First, there are,” in Dime Store Alchemy. New York: The Ecco Press, 1992, p. 60 quoted in Heaney, Seamus. The Redress of Poetry. Faber and Faber, London, 1995, p. 181.
- Soja, Edward W. Thirdspace. Malden (Mass.): Blackwell, 1996, p. 57 quoted in “Edward Soja” on the Wikipedia website [Online] Cited 01/05/2016.
- Hannula, Mika. “Third space – a merry-go-round of opportunity,” on the Kiasma Magazine website No 12 Vol 4, 2001 [Online] Cited 01/05/2016. No longer available online.