Bitterns Boom (1982/2004), limited edition portfolio
Another time, another place
by Marc Arkless
On a recent visit to the Gower, an unspoiled coastal region of South Wales, I found myself standing outside ‘Bitterns Boom’, the house where 23 years earlier the photographs in this publication were made.
23 years earlier Bojan Radovič and I were both studying photography at Art College in Swansea, a city 10 miles to the east.
Not everything was as I remembered it, some things were familiar, others not. Wasn’t there a telephone box nearby? I’m sure that tree was nearer the house! Time was playing tricks on me. Memory is unlike a photograph, it is not a sharp focused, detailed recording, nor is it a slice of time captured a 125th of a second, rather it is a montage, a collection of experience and emotion, it is soft in focus, lacking detail certainly not a “photographic memory”.
I can’t remember why we first substituted film with photographic paper in the 5” x 4” cameras we were using at the time, maybe we couldn’t afford it, perhaps it just seemed like a good idea, but I can remember the first ‘paper negative’ we made, (our first and only collaboration), a shot from the College studio window across a court yard, to the roof of the building opposite, and because the paper was less sensitive than film, the exposure was long.
In ‘Bitterns Boom’ Radovič exploits the properties of the long exposure of the ‘paper negative’ to great effect, once again time plays tricks on us. These photographs are more like memories, they are not sharp focused, detailed recordings nor are they slices of time measured in fractions of seconds, like memory they to are soft in focus and ambiguous. If memories are unlike photographs, in ‘Bitterns Boom’, Radovič succeeded in making photographs like memories, and so, 23 years later, in an Ironic twist the photographs have now become what they always suggested to be, another time, another place.
Cardiff, Wales, May 20, 2005
8 photographs in a cardboard folder
Printed on RC photo quality Ilford paper with pigmented inks
Portfolio dimensions 33 x 48 cm
Limited edition of 10 + EA 2