Richard Misrach

10th September 2019

Research Assignment one – Traces

Richard Misrach – Writing on the Wall

Fraenkel Gallery This link will take you to Misrach’s video, ‘Writing on the Wall.’

Misrach, ‘Writing on the Wall’

Emmmmm… for me this type of work is an unknowing collaboration between the person who leaves the markings and the photographer. Without the initial input from the ‘graffiti artist’ (anyone who leaves writing in the environment) there would be nothing for the photographer to record.

What I do like though is the themes that photographers work with, like Misrach’s desert collection for Writing on the Wall. For these images to speak there has to be a context and a series.

Misrach has caught text in time, that is, the writings in the environment keeps a memory of specific events, feelings and people alive. In this instance his ‘Writing on the Wall,’ documents and keeps alive the views of people in a turmoil of political upset.

Richard Misrach, ‘Trump Loves American People,’ North of Reno, Nevada, 2016.

‘Writing on the Wall’ reminds me of hieroglyphs, especially those that are written on the interior and exterior of run down buildings, they want their marks acknowledged, they want to tell their tale, their voices be heard and remembered as though they count.

This is a theme I would love to follow, not necessarily political, but text in the environment as a series. I have shot graffiti and poster graffiti for many years but I have never collated them together. They read as individual shots of a ‘by chance capture.’ I think I had better up my game and start thinking in series and outcomes, for example the purpose of my photographs and how they come together.

My journey is ever on a learning and developing path, and I am beginning to understand more about the value of shooting themes over periods of time, and like Misrach to go back too specific places to re-shoot.


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