Temporarily Removed

1999-2016

TEMPORARILY REMOVED

I started taking photographs in the British Museum in 1999, shortly after my MA studies in Photography at the London College of Communication. I used my beloved Nikon FA and the now discontinued Kodak T-Max 3200 on a rating of 6400 to be able to use short shutter speeds. I am also still a fan of the beautiful grain these negatives produce, which is not visible in the digital reproductions here (and no digital filter can produce).

I credit the photo on the left, of a scene around the display case of the famous naturally preserved pre-dynastic Egyptian mummy, 'Ginger', with turning what was only an experimental exploration into a serious preoccupation with the photography of museum spaces and museum scenes. I remember my own utter fascination when seeing an unwrapped mummy for the first time as a child in the Senkenberg Museum in Frankfurt. The encounter with death, either directly through exhibited human remains or more subtly through objects of the departed, is to me an all-pervading issue in museums and hence a focus for my photography.

Some of my thoughts on the issue of encountering death in the museum and the relationship between museums and photography have been published in the essay: 'Photography - Museum: On Posing, Imageness and the Punctum'. This essay presents an excerpt of my PhD thesis 'On Posing', completed in 2012 at Goldsmiths University, London.

I have newly edited a collection of image pairs, which you can view by clicking on the arrows below. Presenting image pairs rather than single images immediately introduces 'sequence' into the reading process which emphasises the photographic moment as well as the subjectivity of the camera viewpoint (especially where the image pair shows the same scene/object).

For exhibition these images are printed in different sizes from the negatives on silver-gelatin paper.

Klaus Wehner, December 2015