March 10, 2010

Spirit photos

"Untitled spirit series"
Photo credits: Ashley Carey, Henry Dunn, Helen Jones

This series of pictures was inspired by spirit photography of the late 1800's. At that time people were trying to use photography as proof of supernatural happenings. People wanted to believe that photography was a document of what was in front of the camera unaltered by the creator. Even today, with the popularization of Photoshop, we tend to think of photos as fact. Photography is not always fact, and has never been. This contradiction comes to the forefront in spirit photography -- as well as in clearly staged pictures like our group makes. No ghosts made it to our seance though! Maybe we will try again another day. Here are some examples of spirit photography from the exhibit The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult which showed at the Met a few years back. It was a really interesting show and I believe it was made into a book as well.

H. Mairet, Séance with Eusapia Palladino at the home of Camille Flammarion, France, 25 November 1898
/ The Medium Eva C. with a Materialization on Her Head and a Luminous Apparition Between Her Hands, Albert von Schrenck-Notzing

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