Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Scene of the Crime - Julian Thomas

After jotting down my thoughts recently about photography, traces, evidence, crime scenes and so on, it had completely slipped my mind the Julian Thomas has a series called Scene of the Crime which I really rather like. Among many other things they capture a certain English melancholy - there is also something foreboding about them.

Julian also has it "published" by Democratic Books. You can download the pdf and print it yourself - pretty neat. It was actually the pdf I came across downloaded ages ago on my computer when I was searching for something else. Now I have time, I'm going to print it out.

For those who have suffered times of emotional or psychological illness, recovery is a slow process. A major difficulty lies in the fact that the site of the problem is the body, but nothing can be touched, healed, or removed. One becomes a combination of victim, judge, jury and detective. 'Getting better' is a process of stumbling through images from the past and trying to make sense of a collection of often seemingly unrelated fragments

At some point in the recovery process, you have to go back - back to the scene of the crime. The images in this series are an account of such a return. They are clues, totems, representations of emotions, symbols, dialogues, inner narratives, and sometimes, fragments from nightmares.

You can also look through more images on Julian's site.


george said...

Those are really nice. It's interesting how pictures that might be a little ordinary, individually, acquire poetic power when linked.

Luis said...

This series has had great staying power. Lots of passion, a deeply humane sense of reaching, wrapped in a delightfully risky form. What I loved most about these was how some make immediate formal connections that carry the content, and others do the opposite, sometimes both within one fraternal twin pair. Dyptichs have a way of acting like mountains to echo emotions and thoughts back and forth, and also by acting as boundary layers, sometimes roomy enough to invite projection, others times crushingly narrow, extracting things from the viewer.

--- Luis

julian said...

I'm really grateful to Tim for his repeated kind words about my work.
This series was really risky for me - partly because it was re-visiting something very painful based around the death of my mother, and also because it walked a fine line between therapy and some kind of artistic communication. I still get the shudders looking at some of these.
I had a customer come look at some work yersterday and he ended up taking away this [url][/url]
As it happens he is a priest and psychologist and he did a reading of the content of each image and the relationship between them that was truly scary. At least I finally had confirmation that that particular image 'worked'.

julian said...

sorry that link should be