Andrea Powell



Western philosophical tradition has for 400 years assigned principal value to presence. It is presence which is considered to constitute being itself. Heidegger suggests that to define anything, the possibility of being must be granted (or rather is already granted), ‘That something is, presupposes that anything can be’, and the same can be said for the concept of nothingness, for even absence requires a state of being in which to exist. Powell wants to disrupt the privileging of presence over absence and instead create a liminal space that allows for the simultaneous contemplation of absence and presence. She attempts to do this by highlighting Derrida’s trace as a means to disrupt this binarism. In these images the presence of the photograph alludes to absence of the place it depicts. To put this in terms of the concept of the trace, the physically ‘present’ representation is the photograph. This in turn produces the image of the place in the mind of the spectator. Hence the image is the trace of the already absent presence of the place, as it is only created within the mind of the spectator. Therefore the image may represent an absence because although we cannot see the presence of the place it is created in the mind of the spectator. Powell hopes that the photographs will allow the spectator to contemplate absence and presence simultaneously.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s