Wednesday, 6 April 2011

"... a profound visual intelligence"

Photography and Culture, published by Berg, is an international refereed journal that publishes research papers, discursive critiques and reviews. The current issue - volume 4 no.1, March 2011 contains a review by Paul Gough of the Silent Village exhibition which was shown at Oriel Mostyn in Llandudno and Turner House in Penarth. He responds very positively to the show and kindly comments with generosity upon my own photographic artwork.

Here is a section of his review...…

"....Finnemore's work, by comparison, appears to offer only a very oblique take on the Lidice incident, but like much of his corpus of work addressing memory retrieval, his photographs benefit from close and slow scrutiny. Typically mournful, accidental, and occasional, they approach their subject indirectly; tucked away amongst the stacked pile of shabby video-cassettes and tapes in one photograph, for example, is a copy of Jennings film; in another an old tin for a roll of Agfa film is stamped "Made in Germany," its contents unknown and more ominous for that fact. More obvious references to the doomed village are represented through images of commemorative stamps and souvenirs such as fridge magnets and ornaments. 

There is a profound intelligence here, but also as Robert's comments in a penetrating catalog essay, an impish humour is at work. It sits uneasily alongside images of decay and dustiness, caught in a tense dynamic of unwanted occupation, colonial dominance and contested histories.

Along with Ventura's discomforting portraits, Treszie's necessarily awkward story, and Roberts's insightful analysis, this show adds immensely to Finnemore's standing and to his continuing engagement with familiarity and obscurity, a gentle mapping of personal circumstance bought into sharp relief by the grim events at Lidice and it's lingering aftermath"

Paul Gough is Deputy Vice Chancellor at UWE, Bristol. He was Chair for art and design at the RAE panel in 2008. He is also a painter, broadcaster and writer. His research interests include commemoration of the cultural geographies of battlefields, and the representations of peace and conflict in the 20th and 21st century.

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