The power of possessions: an investigation into the ontology of personal possessions in the context of death and bereavement through the practice of still-life photography

Hudson, Carol (2016) The power of possessions: an investigation into the ontology of personal possessions in the context of death and bereavement through the practice of still-life photography. Doctoral thesis, University of West London.

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Abstract

Focusing on the objects left behind when someone dies, this project examines, through photographic practice, the history of a life as evidenced in the wounds and scars distinguishing personal possessions from commodities. Although photographic practice constitutes the critical centre of the research, this thesis goes some way to providing a context in which the work can be understood.
Visual artists and literature relating to objects of the dead have not addressed the issue of materiality directly, but focused instead on the association of remembrance. I address this gap by producing a body of photographic work visually exploring the physical traces of possession. The accretions of wear and tear on material objects are an important motif that finds an analogy in the photographic process itself; the trace of touch on clothing made visible by the trace of light on film. This accompanying reflective discourse demonstrates how the iconic and indexical qualities of photographic representation make it the ideal medium for the creation of narratives that embody an emotional investment in everyday objects. The resulting photographic artefacts will add to our understanding of the ways in which a sense of touch is visually articulated; contribute to an understanding of the materiality of ordinary objects and, importantly, it will also shed light on the often-neglected power of possessions to shape a life.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: photography; ontology
Subjects: Media
Media > Photography
Depositing User: Meried Belete
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2017 15:27
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2017 15:27
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/3206

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