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Photo Essays

Miriam O’ Connor | Attention Seekers

[P]roduced over a period of two years, Attention Seekers is a personal portrayal and playful response to everyday scenes, arbitrary spaces and people encountered by the photographer. While the ordinary or the everyday are habitually tied up with concepts of familiarity and routine, it is here that O’ Connor discovers infinite possibilities, slicing out its details which petition for attention and assimilate allure. In Camera Lucida (1981), Roland Barthes remarks aptly, “a detail attracts me […] I feel that its mere presence changes my reading”. This detail, or in Barthes phrasing, “the punctum” is marked with a higher value, “a kind of subtle beyond”.  It is at the point of production that the images in Attention Seekers principally subscribe to Barthes notion of the punctum. The series is characterised by its fragmentary nature, where the interplay of colour, form, scale and sequencing exhibit ambiguous clues and mischievous impressions of O’ Connor’s voyages into the familiar terrain of the everyday.

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