Since I first browsed through Taryn Simon’s ‘The Innocents’ I’ve been fascinated with projects that explore locations where significant, or traumatic events have occurred. Another one along those lines is Joel Sternfeld’s ‘On This Site: Landscape in Memoriam.’ I’m sure there are countless others as well.
Pauline Magnenat’s ‘Missing’ is conceptually similar. What I find interesting is that I could imagine these photographs in a completely different type of series, the moody lyrical landscape oriented work that you see frequently these days. And it’d probably work from that perspective too, but once you know that these are scenes where something terrible has happened, they suddenly become a bit more mysterious and evocative. In some sense, it also reminds me of Rachel Sussman’s ‘The Oldest Living Things in the World,’ where a small piece of knowledge changes the way you view the scene.
Lastly, congrats to Pauline on her impending graduation from Camberwell College of Arts. If you’re in London, you can view her work from June 21 – 25. Details below. Also, be sure to take a look at her excellent blog, All of This is Rocket Science.
Camberwell College of Arts Exhibition Space
London SE5 8UF
The show is open from Tue-Fri 10-8 PM and Sat 11-5 PM.