A Catalogue of Errors is a large body of photographic prints based on technical anomalies found amongst the negatives I inherited from my father in 1990.
These negatives drew my attention because of the different puzzling photographic malfunctions and in this work/series as there was a flash/shutter problem with the camera. Indeed, some images only became apparent when printed, making my role one of forensic investigation.
The anomalies within each photograph acknowledge the materiality of analogue film, particularly in this sequence whereby, although it may look like a collage of two images, the flash/shutter problem resulted in two different exposure in the one frame.
Hand and Lamp, c-prints, 21” x 14” (54cm x 36cm), dry mounted,1997
Plant and shoulder, c-prints, 21” x 14” (54cm x 36cm), dry mounted,1997
Essay by David Weaver (Toronto-based critic and filmmaker).
The recasting of these works suggests the ever-complicated ground of familial relations and implicitly casts aspirations on the attempt to fix them through any means.
Situated in an unavoidably psychoanalytic realm, these photographs prompt speculation on the part of the viewer (Who is that child? What is the history here? What relation is that woman to the photographer? To Hawrysio herself?)
That transcends gossip by suggesting the elusiveness of identity and authorship. So the domestic scene becomes the stage for a critique of the very act of photography — the act in which Hawrysio herself, no matter how indirectly, is engaged.
“In the 1990’s Hawrysio, Seers, and Stidolph have undoubtedly internalised these possible symbolic functions of the ‘failed’ photograph. But this is work which is produced in the wake of the reinvigoration of post-conceptualist strategies through the forms of popular culture and as such we also read these photographic ‘failures’ through the spectres of the horror film. This is photography which fixes feminine and the author in the realm of the monstrous apparition.”
Five Years Gallery, London, 1999
Denise Hawrysio, Lindsay Seers, Melanie Stidolph curated by John Roberts, Professor of Art and Aesthetics at the University of Wolverhampton