Shrine of Remembrance (2013)
By David B Simmonds (b. 1954 Zimbabwe)
As a photographer, I’ve always been fascinated by David Hockney’s 1980’s Polaroid series and the idea that there are many decisive moments, rather than just one. Using digital layering techniques, I bring many decisive moments into one coherent image to tell a richer and more complex story of my experience of each particular place. Architectural integrity is integral to my compositions, providing a strong containing structure and foundation of believability for each image, even though these are highly constructed scenes.
These images do more than document in the traditional sense, they tell a larger story of community and place, a story of collective experience. This choreography of many lives and moments is composed to retain a sense of naturalness and spontaneity. The people who pass through the landscape of my “stage” are like “players” who “have their exits and entrances” and sometimes play multiple parts, during the approximately 3 hours (10,800 seconds) I spend at each place. Like the workings of human memory, which combines our unique selections of image and sense impressions into a total experiential memory that is dynamic and emotional, I choreograph an expanded story of community and place that goes beyond the decisive moment.