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“Black Powder” Photography by Damion BergerGunpowder,...

“Black Powder” Photography by Damion Berger

Gunpowder, also known as black powder, is the earliest known chemical explosive. Following its invention in ancient China, the earliest documentation of fireworks can be traced back to the 9th century when they were first used by the Chinese to frighten away evil spirits and pray for happiness and prosperity.

Damion Berger (b. London 1978) is a photographer who’s artwork makes the viewer question the possibilities of photography and its relationship to time and movement. Operating between abstraction and conceptualism, his unorthadox approach to traditional photographic process typically employs long exposure and in-camera techniques to make photographic ‘recordings’ that probe the nature and convention of photography. At the heart of his practice are experiments in mark-making, quite literally painting with light – exploring the relationship between time, movement and light, his work flips the concept of the photographic moment on its head, rendering the invisible…visible.  Often printed in the negative, his photographs resemble layered line drawings and reference the historical evolution of photography whilst engaging in dialogue across broader artistic mediums.

He currently lives and works between New York and France.

Thanks Ricardo Pinto and Wired

Black Powder

Reflecting on the nature and form of fireworks and their role in contemporary culture, these photographs ostensively record worldly celebrations memorialized with pyrotechnics, from the inauguration of Earth’s tallest building in downtown Dubai to art performances in the Jardin de Tuileries.

Grand in both size and scale, these images are made using in-camera techniques such as long and overlapping exposures and unorthodox combinations of focus and aperture to select, sculpt and multiply the explosions onto a single sheet of film. They are printed back as negatives by making facsimile enlargements of the exposed film.

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