Double Inheritance

‘Nature can only mean inheritance transmitted through genetic code, while culture is the inheritance transmitted through non-genetic vehicles.’ [1]

The play between this double inheritance which Agamben references is a catalyst for this series. Working with a medium format film camera the series consists of images which are the result of my attempt to adopt a phenomenological approach to image making, one where I actively try to suspend my ‘natural attitude’.

Phenomenologists, such as Husserl and Merleau-Ponty argue that our experiences are not merely passive observations of the external world but are actively constructed through our interactions with it. Film photography has a special status in the representing of reality that is ontologically distinct from other forms of representation, such as digital photography, paintings or drawings. This is because film photography captures an imprint of light from the real world onto a light-sensitive surface, which creates a direct and indexical relationship between the photograph and the subject of the photograph. My interest here is to focus on the exploration of subjective experience of the inner world and it’s doubling in the chemical trace on film

[1] Agamben Giorgio. ‘Infancy and History, Essays on the destruction of experience’ (1993) Verso, London.

Copyright Michael Mcginley 2023