This photo is one of those that really is an index in its approach. There is nothing transformative about it.
untitled-1090710.jpg shows one of my bedroom cupboards. Up at the top of the frame and to the left in the foreground are ties and suites and shirts I haven’t worn for a long time. In fact I haven’t warn them on a daily basis since May 13th 2008 to be exact. Prior to that date I wore a suit every weekday, along with all of the accoutrements for office work. But on May 13th 2008 I felt ill and did not go into work and following a long battle to get back, finally accepted defeat and took early retirement in 2009.
So a little time ago I got rid of a lot of stuff I wasn’t wearing anymore and have begun the use the bottom half of the cupboard for all sorts of things. For example, there are some old children’s books, and some weights and gloves seen at the bottom of the photo. But the dominant items in the frame are the wheelchair wheels and toilet seats. I keep a spare set of wheels so I can stay mobile when something happens to my existing set. I used to keep these in the garage and that still holds some old wheels but when I bought these new wheels I just chucked them in the cupboard so they are close. The toilet seats are soft sponge cushions that go on top of a standard seat and prevent pressure sores. However after a few months day lose their spring and so need replacing – hence the two seats in the photo.
The image put me in mind of Larry Sultan’s Pictures From Home series and while most of his images showed his parents and where a sort of staged documentary and mine has no person and is not staged in the same way, I think they both evoke similar things in the viewer such as a questioning of the vista and a construction of a narrative about the image and what it means to them. In that way I think the image is more a commentary and statement rather than documentary. The image doesn’t have a really strong form which I tend to prefer. For example if I could have pushed the door with the ties on it so it lay flat so that I presented the vista as a set of two rectangles I would have. But then the aesthetic would have evoke something different wouldn’t it.
Nowadays, I only seem to wear a suit to funerals as I wear inexpensive casual Farah trousers, puma trainers and polo tops. In a sense the photo is a commentary of my changing lifestyle. I wonder what the same photo will show in 20 years time?