absence | presence
this project is a collaboration of two photographers: guy batey
and thomas graichen. it presents two complementary visions of absence and presence in contemporary urban space.
guy bateys photographs explore human absence, and the different ways in which an absence can make itself felt. it is the exploration of a paradox: there are no people in any of his photographs, and yet in all of them a sense of human presence can be felt. he finds urban spaces and objects that are often mundane an ordinary street, corner or abandoned object but which are lifted out of the everyday by a particular kind of resonance, an immanence, a sense of something still living and breathing. some pictures seem like just-vacated stage sets with their discarded props, with echoes of the performance still ringing around the space. the sense of emptiness acts almost as a vacuum, pulling the viewer into the picture to reoccupy the scene.
much of thomas graichens photography focuses on the investigation of urban space. this interest influences his approach to portraiture as exemplified in this project. graichen searches for spaces in the city often out-of-the-way places that have a certain resonance for him, but which will be completely new for his invited subjects.
his photography arises from the subjects exploration of these spaces how they interact with and position themselves in them and he captures the way they become a new element within the site.
this way the subjects are immersed in their new environment, allowing the viewer to stand unobserved on the sidelines of the picture, watching the person-in-place.