Illuminated Space – Sublime Series

filing cabinet tif (1 of 1)

‘The disproportion between the human body and the vastness of space that traditionally evoked a sense of the gigantic …. the Sublime invokes loss, silence and absence … The tension between space and place is inherent to contemporary disorientation, is critically situated in the hyperspace of late modernity … the ‘non-places’ of today’s urbanisation.’

Caterina Albano: ‘Fear and Art in The Contemporary World’

This series of images relocates Edmund Burkes concept of the Sublime, epitomised by Casper David Friedrich’s landscape paintings, to subterranean urban spaces – where the sense of awe wrapped up in fear becomes an internal experience. Fear is evoked by disorientation and dislocation, unspecified locations – man-made functional structure replaces natural formation blurring the distinctions between place and non-place. This is a suppressed sense of the Sublime; unlike war reportage, images of natural disaster or epic landscpae. However, there is history and drama here too: the history of association. Are these cavernous spaces technological labs or war-related ruins? An overriding sense of agoraphobia and anxiety also pervades these spaces: the lure of the unknown, the lair of the beast. There is a simultaneous psychological imploding and exploding,  a vertiginous oscillation, one could say, leading to a schizoid sense of self.

filing cabinet tif (1 of 1)

filing cabinet tif (1 of 1)

filing cabinet tif (1 of 1)

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About barryfalk

I am a self-taught photographer based in West Sussex. I photograph ‘Incidental Spaces’, places tucked away and neglected: edges of car parks, junk-filled garages, loading bays, abandoned spaces, vacant rooms, ransacked offices. These are the overlooked details of a city: architectural features which appear to serve no function. My images seek to capture an aspect of the city which is not willingly acknowledged. These places can be read as metaphors for loss and as such are suffused with a disturbed sense of self, what Freud referred to as the unheimliche: the familiar which has become alienated through the process of repression. However, when re-seen, photographed from a particular angle, in a certain light, these incidental spaces turn out to be resonant with association.
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