Focus on Vernacular: Greg Sand: Chronicle - LENSCRATCH
To begin this week of celebrating artists using vernacular or found photographs, we need to describe this ever expanding genre. We use the term vernacular to illustrate this week’s images because they employ the visual language of the everyday, photograph
Artist Greg Sand has a legacy of considering other people’s photographs, transforming the images in new ways to speak about memory, the passage of time, mortality, and the photograph’s role in shaping our experience of loss. We are thrilled to have Greg as our juror this month for the Vernacular Exhibition which will run on Saturday. Greg shares his own thoughts on the subject and Roland Barthes words from Camera Lucida, “Photography’s unique ability to capture a fleeting moment allows it to expose the temporality of life. “By giving me the absolute past of the pose… the photograph tells me death in the future… I shudder over a catastrophe which has already occurred.” These words from Roland Barthes’s Camera Lucida precisely describe how I feel when I consider a photograph so old that the subject must be dead. My response has a number of layers: I feel an immediate connection to the living person in the photograph, followed by a dread of what inevitably is to come for them, completed by a sense of grief over what has, of course, already transpired. This reaction is why my work utilizes found photographs, which I manipulate to create a narrative exploring mortality. My work aims to question the nature of photographs and challenge the traditional definition of photography.