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  Barney de Krijger                                         The traveling Eye 

camera

"THE TRAVELING EYE"

1995 - a Sisyphus Project and how it all began -2008

The main issue of this biography of a work of art, is the exploration of diverse analogue photographic processes, the peripheral equipment, including errors, control of chemicals, lighting conditions, failure of capture, and other external influences. It should be seen as a pseudo-scientific, time-consuming research project.
An effort to question the meaning and thinking about photography and art, visualized by the output of a self-made, large format camera. Capturing and recording the environmental world of our time with an old fashioned, unpredictable, analogue photographic medium is like re-inventing the wheel.

Around 1991 I read Albert Camus ‘the Myth of Sisyphus’
A specific quotation sticks in my mind since then.
I used this quotation in the catalogue - 10 Dutch artists in The Turku Art Museum Finland’ 1994/1995 -
for the photographic work 'Voyage into a Mirror' as a statement and metaphor which is also still relevant for what I am doing today.

The only thing that the absurd man can do is to entirely exhaust the possibilities of existence and himself
Albert Camus ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’

BIOGRAPHY OF A WORK OF ART

In 1996 I was researching and experimenting with IR role film, which I got from a friend as a present with the remark: ‘Here is some film material for you. I am sure you can use it and do something with it.’
In the same period the Living Art Museum at Reykjavik invited me for an exhibition in 1997.
This exhibition was never realized, because of a lack of communication and financial problems. But unaware of this fact and with the invitation of the LAM in mind, I got some ideas and started to prepare the project: See Sight Seeing

And then it all started!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE JOY OF A SISYPHUS WORK OF ART

By ignoring the prime time of the digital image explosion, I started digging into the rich historical photographic medium, re-inventing the wheel and getting back to the roots.
With the 19th. century field and studio cameras in mind, I started to build a large analogue camera from found footage and second hand materials.

Confronted with all kind of technical problems but determined to reach my goal, I managed to construct a camera: folding a bellow, added a large handmade German lens to cover the negative size of 30.5 x 48 centimeters, and construct a transport mechanism for the 30 meters of IR role film.

After making a lot of arrangements and measurements to ensure everything runs smooth,
like correcting camera parts, dealing with light leakage, chemical solutions, failures of
capture, solving film transport problems, measuring exposure times I slowly managed to transform the Sisyphus work into a concrete mobile camera and making my first proofs
.

The camera has no viewfinder, which means that the frame of the captured environment can only be roughly calculated, simply pointing the lens in the right direction.

pernis

The whole process of this journey – taking photographs, developing the film, printing, the acceptation of imperfection and the coincidence is essential for the final work of art.
The risk of failure is inherent to the kind of IR film I use, specially developed for industrial laser copy and line art.

The films are nowadays hard to get and mostly out of date, it forms a handicap as well as a challenge, to explore new, unconventional ways and solutions.
This whole enterprise can be considered as an exciting ‘laboratory under construction’.
A non-manipulative image operation full of challenges, obstacles, and a constant awareness of imperfection .

THE JOY OF A SISYPHUS WORK OF ART

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