Wales, UK / Duration 12m 21s / 2012
What are photographic traces? Are they evidence transcribed by the boundaries of the veracious? Or do they lie beyond the empire of the measurable? This body of work is constructed from photo-ephemera and analogue assemblages. They are revenants from the warehouses of the mind; they are encounters with both the ordinary and the numinous. Sometimes there are monsters on the edges of the frame, sometimes there are angels; sometimes pictures cannot forget and sometimes they cannot remember. These picture ciphers are legion and stretch out forever.
The moving images that I construct do not have a fixed meaning nor can they be read in any explicit manner. Rather, like dreams, they are suggestive, sometimes ominous and always fleeting. They are coalesced so that the viewer might engage with them in a way that lies outside of a didactic process of reading an image.
“Secrets and mysteries provide a beautiful corridor where you can float out. The corridor expands and many, many wonderful things can happen… I love the process of going into mystery.” – David Lynch
Dr. Christopher Webster van Tonder studied art and art history as an undergraduate and postgraduate in South Africa and Wales. He has investigated and adapted the iconography of the photographic image in the context of solo and group exhibitions. As evidenced by international exhibitions and conference papers, Webster van Tonder continues to teach and research the practice, theory and history of photography. His most recent practice is centred on the production of short 16mm films that include stop motion animation and manipulation of the film surface. Areas of research and research supervision covers: occult and esoteric applications of photography; the staged and manipulated photograph; the photograph as a physiognomic marker especially of racial types from the nineteenth century until the mid-twentieth. He is continuing to work on making new short films whilst concurrently conducting research into the work of German photographers of the 1930’s whose work centred on ‘völkisch’ imagery.