the names of things

Over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking about titles for the pictures and an overall title for the project. I have a note book filled with scribbled ideas from the duration of the residency and I also have a copy of a Tower of London Guide book from the 80’s (which looks rather dated considering it feels like the 80’s were quite recent) both of which I have used to feed ideas for possible titles.

First of all, the project title is Other Histories. I found this written in the middle of my notebook after a few sentences about the rooms of 4 & 5 Tower Green, a row of Tudor houses that have been stripped out and bolstered with scaffolding as part of some major repairs. The rooms showed evidence of 1950’s and 1970’s fittings, eras of the Towers history that don’t seem to be celebrated as important parts of the buildings story. I hope that the title hints towards my thoughts about a kind of hierarchy of history that is unavoidable in the heritage industry.

With my previous work I have tended to avoid titles for individual images, hoping that the overall title would be enough to direct the thoughts of the viewer without tying them to the text/image relationship to tightly, this was the case for  Hinterland.

For the photographs in Other Histories I wanted to use text to add another layer to each picture, I hope that the titles will push the viewer to ask more questions of the pictures and maybe the work as a whole. In the end a photographer can create an image with their own personal interpretation, but they have no overall power over how the image is interpreted by the viewer.  When I was a student I summed this up with a proposed title for my final years work: ‘Your misunderstanding of my mistakes’.

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