- Purchased, 2005
- 250 x 200mm
By skilful sleight of hand, Ben Cauchi has singlehandedly given recognition to the previously little-known ambrotype, or wet-plate collodion positive process, within the sphere of local contemporary art. Now based in Berlin, the artist began exploring painstaking mid-19th-century processes during his photographic studies at Massey University in Wellington, just as digital photography was beginning to take off. Together with his affinity for historical technique, Cauchi reveals a partiality for the visual timbre of the Victorian photographer’s studio: here, the dark-stained floor and hanging cloth backdrop recall the makeshift collodion portrait parlours of gold rush days. The impression is disrupted, however, by the presence of a mysterious glowing, out-of-focus, hovering object.
(As Time Unfolds, 5 December 2020 – 7 March 2021)