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Nigel Grimmer

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Previously I used my art practice to investigate the language of domestic photography as a social construct, focusing on the ways photography creates, supports, or reinforces prescribed ideas of what could be considered 'normal' in society. Here ‘normal’ is that which is deemed acceptable to appear in the traditional family photograph album, the white nuclear family unit, which is then mirrored back to us through mainstream marketing campaigns, further regimenting the content of the album. This measure of normality is then used to marginalise that which does not fit.

I studied what domestic photographic practice had been and tried to propose replacements for this practice. My earlier projects took the form of alternative snapshot albums created with my family and friends; later I changed my focus to study images created for digital platforms, particularly within social media and dating apps.

Through researching the mainstream traditional history of photography, I have come to view photography as a highly problematic medium, but this medium has been challenged, subverted and weaponised to recognise the dominant narratives of the happy-while-consuming nuclear family image and the white middle-class heterosexual male photographer as tools of propaganda, pointing out signs of “otherness”. Artists that employ these strategies of challenge and subversion are key to my research.

Slowly, I have moved away from looking at the history of photography, and from using photography as a tool to examine something. Instead, my practice could be seen as a tool to examine photography itself, a tool to examine the tool. The content of my practice now proposes viewing photography as a body, examining this body and its anxieties and difficulties.

The crafted elements of my Analogue Disruptions project signal a moving away from a photographic practice that is increasingly digital, even virtual, and instead, embracing the analogue and the touch of the craftsman’s hand. This seems appropriate for a practice considering the body and created collaboratively with others.

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