Letter from Glasgow: Poisoned Ground (II), Burial
The soil on my plot is rich and black. As I dug it for the first time last year I uncovered odd pieces of bone and brick, crushed metal and plastic, then long reels of exposed 35mm camera film, buried in the ground. I pulled out these crooked ribbons entangled with soil. I thought of my own cartridges of un-developed films twenty five years old, coalescing back to their original darkness. Of how I had always put off getting them developed, how I feared seeing the images that I had shot, leaving that encounter until later, and later, and too late, until the images would have quietly closed over once more. I still have those film cartridges and now I cannot develop them for the proof of disappearance would be too definite. I would have to confront the dark unreadable space of losses incurred by obstinate deferral. I like the thought that some traces of past light might still lie inside the coils of film, hidden from view, but I do not want to disrupt them. I thought of the way that sometimes things can’t be said, or depicted, for a long time. Gestation is an unknown quantity, it demands darkness, hiddenness, but this can be overdone, risking the permanent obliteration of the image, oblivion.
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