For this assignment, I printed the final pre-selection in smooth pearl resin coated paper, which provides a bit more lustre than matt paper without being as reflective as the glossy one. The photographs were printed with an archival-quality pigment ink printer. They were printed in A4 paper, leaving a border of approximately 1 inch to each side. This resulted in a printed surface of around 24 x 16 cm. The borders were set specifically wide to allow for mounting.
For storage and presentation, the prints were to be boxed in a A4 portfolio box for photographs similar to this one. The internal area of the box itself is not really A4, but actually C4, which is the envelope size corresponding to unfolded A4 paper, and is slightly larger at around 23cm x 32. I took advantage of this more generous size to cut my mounts to a custom size that would fit the box snuggly.
Every picture was mounted on off-white conservation board, which was cut to size by hand. The board used was John Purcell’s Heritage 1380 microns. This is a good quality white core buffered board of archival specifications that is more rigid than the regular acid-free board available on art shops, yet is priced similarly. The disadvantage is that its smallest size is larger than A1 and consequently it has to be cut to size. Both the backing board and the mat are of the same material.
The window of the mat was also cut by hand using a bevel cutter. The window was sized at 3.5cm per side. Each photograph was mounted using the t-hinge method and acid free removable linen tape. The borders of the mat were glued to the backing board using a small amount of water-soluble clear glue. Each mounted photograph was weight-pressed for 24 hours to ensure the mount borders were sealed.
Each photograph was stored in the box and covered with piece of cartridge paper to separate the plates from the notes accompanying the assignment.
The photographs were mounted to protect them from damage but also because I wanted to explore how to present the photographs in gallery setting, for which they would normally be mat mounted and framed. For a gallery presentation, I was inspired by the arrangement of Sergio Larrain’s photographs of London in the recent exhibition “Strange and Familiar” organized by the Barbican Centre (a picture of how that arrangement looked like can be found here). The idea is to organize the photos in a cluster, a bit closer than that used in the case of Larrain’s pictures, and for that reason the bezel of the mount was relatively thin. The arrangement is still geometric but a little bit less formal than the usual sequential approach, which is aligned with the overall concept of the series, trying to move the viewer away from normal expectations. Clustering the photographs also allows for a quick movement from one picture to the next and permits the viewers to look at the pictures in their own order, rather than the order dictated by the curator. The schematics of how the pictures would be presented is shown below:
Accompanying the pictures, I propose the following short introductory text:
Traces of humanity
In this series, I wish to explore our relationship with the environment that surrounds us on a daily basis, but that many times we take for granted. Evidence of our influence is provided, but our presence is deliberately obviated through the choice of timing, allowing the viewer to challenge expectation of what they would normally see in scenes they may be familiar with.