Walls of Darkness by Charlotte Cotton

This photographic project began for Nadav Kander with Last Car, El Paso, Texas 1998. The image represents for him the sought after moment when a photograph you have created surprises you with its direct, partially innocent, nourishing of something internally, relying on photography’s capacity to fuse elements of the external world with the maker’s state of being. These are rare images, realised before their time, before their creator is fully conscious of the direction that they will take his thought and practice.
In this series a relationship is constructed between man–made elements – the artificial light, the road structures and surfaces and the crops sewn in linear patterns – with signs of in–human forces – the endless sea, giant motorway systems and, most significantly, the dark. The photographer’s stance is uncomfortable because it is not an obviously commanding one. These are not scenes of traditional photographic clarity or authority.

While the Night series is weighted with a narrative of unease, of loneliness and foreboding, these are also seductive scenes. Nadav Kander has left it open for us to explore both fearful and pleasurable emotions that come to mind as we look at these images. He gives us standpoints on the edges of man–made towns and roads where we meet the elements that we will never fully control but to which we are inextricably linked. These are frightening and beautiful photographs and the balance between these emotions depends on what you see and cannot see within them.

A 64–page catalogue edited by Michael Mack with an introduction by Charlotte Cotton of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Catalogue ISBN 0954132408