Family Obscured attempts photographic recycling. Utilizing techniques developed during his earlier work ‘Creation through Destruction’, the unwanted and forgotten negatives from the cupboards and lofts of strangers were subjected to chemical abuse to remove any semblance of what they might have been. The negatives were then scanned and printed as the whole strip, far larger than their familiar 6×4 high-street roots. Whilst the original images have morphed and leaked into one another, individual frames no longer exist.
Whilst the process is specific, the contents and outcome are completely random and aim to twist and contrast the original photographic medium. The original prints are likely to be cherished family memories, the chemistry produces a consistent style but with random formations of colours and shapes. Although initially neglected, the destruction of the negative has in turn transformed the original family print as it is no longer a copy that can be easily reproduced. Taylor’s piece is about metamorphosis; of both the negative, from discarded object to an image of abstraction and curiosity and also of the original owners print, from clone to an individual artefact, albeit unknown. The work is currently displayed as two quarters of the whole in a double-sided light-box.
Sam Taylor graduated from University of Westminster with a BA in Photographic Arts. He has exhibited as part of the art collective AgNO8 during the Brighton Photo Fringe and East London’s Photomonth. He lives and works in London.