Traces Of The Real

Hugh McCabe’s Traces Of The Real ‘song exposure’ photography exhibition opens in Fumbally Exchange on Thursday April 14th. Song Exposure [sawng ek-spoh-zher]: a photograph created by opening the shutter at the start of a song and closing it at the end

Traces Of The Real is an exhibition of song exposure photographs taken by Hugh McCabe over the course of a year in Dublin music venues. A song exposure photograph is a photograph of the performance of a song, and is created by opening the shutter at the start of the song, and then closing it at the end. The resulting images capture the stages and equipment in vivid detail but cast the performers and audiences as fluid, transient and ghostlike presences in front of the lens. The aim of the series is to explore the notion of temporality within photographic representation, and to question the idea that photographs should correspond to discrete, frozen moments in time.

The inspiration came from renowned Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto‘s Theaters series. In this project, Sugimoto set up his camera at the back of ornate movie palaces in New York and other US cities, opened his shutter at the start of the film, and closed it at the end. The light from the projected movie becomes the light source for the photographic exposure and illuminates all corners of the theater over the duration of the film. Traces Of The Real started as an exploration of how this idea could be applied to live music concerts and evolved into an attempt to answer the following questions. Can one take a photograph of a song? If so, what would it look like?

The photographs were shot in a number of different venues: including Tripod, Vicar Street, The National Concert Hall, Grand Canal Theatre, The Village, The Button Factory and Whelans. A wide variety of artists were photographed in this manner: including The Frames, Adebisi Shank, Villagers, Daniel Johnston, Whale Watching, Thread Pulls, Grand Pocket Orchestra, Beach House, The Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra, Patrick Kelleher, Sea Dog, Therapy? and many more.

The images are created using a mix of old and new technology. They are shot using a large format film camera fixed onto a tripod on the balcony. This produces a 5″ by 4″ negative which is digitized to give an image of enormously high resolution. These images are then printed by fine art printer David Monahan and mounted onto aluminum compound (dibond) panels. Following the Fumbally exhibition, the photographs will be on display in The Workmans Club on Wellington Quay, Dublin 2.

Traces Of The Real
Fri April 15th – Thu April 21st 2011
(Weekdays Only 11AM-5PM)
Fumbally Exchange, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8

Opening Reception:
Thurs April 14th 2011 6-8PM

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