Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Alison Jackson

I'm expecting from a photograph a true depiction of something that really was. Although I'm well aware that this is not possible, that a photograph can't do that, I'm still expecting it from it. 

Essentially, photographs are documents, they are records. Even in our digital times in which we know less and less what to take for certain, our belief in the power of photographs to serve as evidence has not faltered. Moreover, despite us knowing that they can be, and sometimes are, manipulated, we trust them to be truthful — unless someone proves them to have been tampered with.

Alison Jackson has a decidedly different take on photography. "To be honest, I always hated the effect photography creates, and I think that was the reason I started producing this kind of work", she says. And so she photographed the images in her head. But isn't that what all photographers eventually do? Quite some, yes (others however record what they stumble upon), but not as openly, and obviously, as Alison Jackson.

@ Alison Jackson 

. "What I photograph are two normal British people. Nothing else. It's only the viewer who thinks he is looking at Kate Middleton and Prince William." The same holds of course also true for the photo of "Pippa Middleton's behind" below.

@Alison Jackson

"Photography tempts us into trusting a photo although we know perfectly well that a picture can never tell the whole truth". Right. But knowing is not seeing. And so the question here is: What do staged photographs that depict doubles tell us? They probably make us pause, reflect, and ask ourselves: Can this be? Is this real?

Needless to say, it is a good thing to question photographs. But will we come away from these so obviously staged pics and trust photos now a bit less? I'm not sure. Besides, can we really know whether we are looking at a fake or at the real thing? "I once told a man he was a great Nicolas Cage look-alike. He got very angry. It was the real Nicolas Cage."

@ Alison Jackson

"In Britain," Alison Jackson says, "we have a saying that 'You can't imagine the Queen on the loo.' Well, that's what I photographed." Would it really look so different?
stern Fotografie Nr. 70 includes Talent Booklet 03 featuring Jean Pigozzi who, writes Alison Jackson, "shoots the real stars, but with their guard down, whereas I shoot the very private moments that we have all imagined but never seen." Have we really all imagined Alison Jackson's private moments?

Alison Jackson
stern Fotografie Nr. 70

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