Baud Postma’s series of desert landscapes began as a set of images shared on his Facebook page over 10 years ago. Discovering these old photographs prompted him to consider photography’s relationship with authenticity, using the desert as a metaphor for memory.
“This work explores the similarity between both desert landscapes and personal memories,” he explains, “they appear to be fixed and stable, but in fact they are subject to constant, imperceptible change.”
Postma began exploring ways in which he could challenge the notion of photography as evidence. “In our digital age, we retain the idea of a photograph being a record of objects in space and moments in time, captured by the photographer,” says Postma, explaining his process of re-photographing and manipulating images using entirely analogue processes.
Using a 10×8 large-format camera to make exposures directly onto photographic paper, Postma purposefully printed the black and white images with a decaying effect. “I like the slow, methodical approach that large format photography requires,” he says, “To me these prints are like faded memories, abstract and mutable”.
Postma combined these images with re-photographed stills from Lawrance of Arabia, the 1962 film which initially inspired him to take the photographs 10 years ago. The resulting work, on display at Peckham 24 in London as a solo show this weekend, combines dusty and abstracted landscape with smooth, boundless shots of desert.
Photographic Memory not only considers the authenticity and memory held within a photograph, but also within ourselves. By using images from his own “social media past”, Postma questions how much of an impact these platforms have on our sense of self.
“We all know Instagram and other platforms incentivise the portrayal of idealised versions of reality,” he says. “If photography affects memory, and memory informs our sense of self, to what extent does photography, and our social media feeds, impact who we think we are?”
Photographic Memory by Baud Postma will be exhibited at Peckham 24 in London from 17 – 19 May 2019