'La Cinematheque', Paris, France
The relationship between cinema and photography is an area of great critical interest [Green,3] and in 2006 Magnum asked its photographers to consider which film or filmmaker had had the most profound effect on their way of seeing. Some 28 proposals were received and just ten were selected. Widely acknowledged as the most prestigious photographic agency in the world, Magnum has grown to represent some 60 photographers of many nationalities and vastly different preoccupations.
Power became a member of Magnum in 2007, the first from the UK for ten years. His project explored the Krzysztof Kieslowski’s 1969 film ‘Camera Buff’ which tells the story of an amateur documentary film-maker who finally turns his camera on himself. Marking the point in Kieslowski’s career when he began to make films about his more intimate experiences, the fragile work/hobby/family balance experienced by the film’s hero, Filip Mosc, seemed to echo Power’s own. Power also explored issues around viewing the world at a detached distance and the emotional inhibitions this brings about. For Power, this research led to a profound re-thinking of his practice.
Power’s project confronted issues of loss, memory and the role of spatial triggers in these processes. Power revisited sites with familial associations, and examined home movies, editing these down to some twenty short clips that were projected onto a large tank of water and onto a white screen submerged inside it. Bubbles arising to the surface towards the end of each clip – which were slowed to 10% of their original speed – separated each sequence. In this way, the work addressed the universality of grieving, and more particularly the unpredictability of memory.
The installation and prints were exhibited at the Cinematheque Francais in Paris, and will tour to several more venues in the next two years.