Poor Old Oss
‘Sometimes, doing nothing is the most violent thing to do ’ - Slavoj Zizek.
The photographs in this series where made as I developed my understanding of violence. Not just quantifiable outbursts of physical abuse. But the underlying presence that keeps society in order. Philosopher Slavoj Zizek describes this as ‘systemic violence’, that is ‘something like the notorious dark matter of physics, the counterpart to an all-too-visible subjective violence’.
I took as my starting point a very real incident of a stabbing near my home and began to make photographs, but as my research progressed, I wanted, less to photograph people involved in acts of subjective violence but to understand in the broadest sense what violence is. Is poverty violence? Is isolation violence? Are these forms of state control? Photography is central to people’s understanding of subjective violence, of poverty and inequality. From its very beginnings, photographers have documented the lives of those affected by violence and poverty. In this series of images, I intended to remove the gaze from the victims and focus on the ideology that underpins our lived experience. Has technology replaced our folklore to become the ‘dark matter’ of life.