Ana Teresa Vicente

Portfolio published in ArchivoZine 19 - New Media, In the Age of Visual Culture.

Failure is a Given

This project is part of my current PhD research, within the subjects of memory, identity and vernacular photography. These series were created using materials found when an apartment in Lisbon was emptied, after its sole owner died and someone else bought the apartment, throwing away books, letters, negatives, and printed photographs.

During the research, several approaches were employed to explore the photographic image, particularly in its vernacular uses, its power and malleability, the tactile connection with the printed photograph, the idea of the fragment, as well as the relationship between image and text.

Whether in a subtle way, or by expressively conveying the manipulations and explorations, the series Failure is a Given explores the potential of digital interferences. Having as point of departure a set of prints (without the corresponding negatives), the photochemical photographs were digitised and subsequently digitally modified.

The decorative white borders were left intact, as I had a keen interest in exploring the possibility of a digitised photograph maintaining certain qualities of the photograph-as-object, making use of the shading artefacts and border noise as entities in their own right. As the object-photograph is condensed onto an image on the screen, its material features are reduced (we cannot touch the photograph, read the notes on the back, feel the smoothness or roughness of the paper, for example), and is therefore transformed into a digital substitute becoming, in a way, one-dimensional.

The image is thus reworked from within, through the use of repetition, duplication, distortion, obliteration of details, suppression or concealment of certain areas, covered by layers of digital artefacts, or by making the use of digital tools evident in the process of altering the images.


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