Seen in an advert for a photography competition titled ‘Simulacrum’:
This would have been my entry. I’m not sure how far I would’ve got. Maybe I would’ve made the first cut. Maybe not. I doubt I would have won the £200 cash prize. Entering a collage into a photography competition is always a risky business. Photographers think I’m an artist you see; whereas artists often see me as a photographer dabbling in the arts.
The collage Hundreds and Thousands is a reproduction of a reproduction of yet another reproduction of a shell representing an original. Yes, it’s that layered.
Maybe I need to explain. This collage is from a photograph I took (reproduction 1). My original photograph was of a poster advertising Easter egg sales (reproduction 2). The poster itself is a 2D reproduction of a 3D chocolate Easter egg (reproduction 3). The Easter egg is a chocolate shell symbolically representing a real egg.
It’s not very often I would show you the original photograph, my original photograph, of the source image but I think in this case it helps. It bears little resemblance to my collaged reworking. I prefer my representation of the Easter egg to this ‘original’ photograph; or indeed to any of the previous interpretations of the Easter egg. I would also assume that Sontag prefers a reworking to an original since her quote is itself a reworking of a quote by Feuerbach.
My reworking is necessary for me because I feel the original photograph loses the grace and delicacy of an egg. The chocolate looks heavy and cheap. The dull background does nothing to enhance the idea that this is potentially a luxury foodstuff to celebrate a religious festival. The sprinkles are the only delicate things on this original. One by one their tiny presence has enhanced the chocolate egg. It is these hundreds and thousands that I have focused on to create a delicacy that was so lacking in the original. I prefer my representation of a reality which, lets face it, was a strange [un]reality to begin with laced with symbolism and reference.
So why did I chicken out and not enter my little collage into this competition? My work would have been seen by the organisers, as well as representatives from another gallery, and also a prestigious Turner Prize nominee who is judging. Only a fool wouldn’t enter.
I’ll tell you why on another day…