When considered only as a practice rather than as a means of production, what are the possibilities of photography when it comes to documenting experience and memory? The seemingly direct representations of the real in photographs make the case that a conscious photographer might be able to retain a more faithful record of the past. In doing so, one might feel as though they have a more satisfying grasp on it, and on their memory as a whole. As comforting as the idea might be, it isn’t the case. Though it may purport to document objectively, the camera is necessarily obscuring, motivated and biased. The question then becomes, what is the motivation to keep collecting images, and what is gained in the creation of this ‘new memory’ that is not entirely the user’s conscious effort?
Edan Wingfield is Canadian-born photographer and bookmaker currently based in New York and Los Angeles.