© 2019 Nassim Rad

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The Origin of My World

My practise explores ideas of repetition and the tactile action of creating photographic material by literally drawing with light, as the word ‘photography’ suggests. My final piece for my Masters at London College of Communication 2017 The Origin of My World works with notions of translation from a drawing to creating a photogram. Presented in a series of 7, the images display a narrative of human traces of action within a piece of abstract imagery. Framed by discussions of the Benjaminian Aura and ideas of the origin and the copy, my practise strives to make work that has potential for triggering empathy and putting a stamp of reality into the increasingly digital world we live in. Artistic influences of Man Ray and Thomas Ruff bridge the connection from digital to analogue and substantiate the narrative of the handmade to the reproduction.

The work challenges to remain the affect of the original within the copy, which is a contrary to the reproduced nature of photography. The original drawing, which was created on a tablet, got translated onto an acetate matrix and then further transmitted through the photographic darkroom into the final outcome, which is a kind of photogram or photographic piece. All of these translations imply that the origin is perhaps changed, retraced, lost or muted in some way.

Due to the hand-coated paper, the end products of the five versions of this piece each will have different traces and looks, even though each image is a copy from the matrix. Its unique nature is determined by traces of man made actions; hence, each sheet shows different reactions to the overall same exposing process. In each case those differences explore those ideas of how human intervention and experience are involved in the making of this work.

 

The title refers to Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in which he describes human beings not as a creation but in fact as an outcome of evolution. Each photogram from The Origin of My World shows how it adapts to its environment whether it is a scratch on the foil of the acetate or the conditions in the darkroom - every image comes out as a slightly modified trace and therefore becomes unique, as every human being is. In addition, the title refers to the work as a representation of consciousness. With every thought and every action emerging out of the mind being original each time when they are experienced, they are also mostly a repetition of comfortable habits. They move, as the spinning top does in the drawing, very slightly and gradually out of their usual forms and are mostly self-referential, thus the vortex.