Questions to F&D Cartier

F&D Cartier, Wait and See

The artist couple focuses on the essential elements of analogue photography: light and photosensitive material. For the exhibition How Your Camera Works they produce an site specific installation consisting of untouched vintage photographic paper. The paper originates from 1890 to 1980. It is displayed on the walls of the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum and reacts to the light environment of the exhibition space: the black-and-white sheets gradually develop from multicoloured to dark monochrome surfaces.

F&D Cartier, Wait and See [Installation of Vintage Photo Papers, unfixed, Transformer Station, Cleveland, OH], 2016, variable dimensions, Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell © F&D Cartier

One question to F&D Cartier

Q Your first work, which makes use of untouched photographic papers, was produced in 1998. Why did you decide to focus on the materiality of photography, rather than taking new photographs? Considering the omnipresence of digital image-production today, do you feel the meaning of your practice changed since the 1990s, when the debate around the change from analogue to digital first appeared?

A Confronted with the emergence of digital photographic technologies and the overflow of images during the 1990s, we began to question the meaning of images and the motivations that lead to their production. Conscious that the era of silver gelatin photographic paper was coming to an end, we decided to use it as a simple means to capture time and light in order to question the potential of the void left by the unrecorded or undeveloped image. We bring these images to life, observing their verchanging evolution without fixing them. Slowness. Wait and See.

A position that seems to have gained increasing attention from the photography community only in recent years.

F&D Cartier, Wait and See [studio tests], March 20th, 2015 © F&D Cartier

Wait and See is part of the exhibition 1 × 1 der Kamera at Wilhelm-Hack-Museum