Published by APE (Art Paper Editions)
Dominique Somers, 00A
15 x 21 cm, 318 p
8 different covers
Dominique Somers’ work 00A consists of a remarkable compilation of found images. The title of the series refers to the starting-point markings printed between the sprocket holes on the leader of a 35-mm photographic film. Somers has been collecting the first, automatic exposures made on this 00A strip for years. They are the result of a photographic practice that has almost become a form of archaeology: when positioning a roll of analogue film in the camera, one has to release the shutter a few times and wind a couple of frames forward to reach the starting position of the unexposed part of the spooled film. It is precisely these throwaway shots, made while loading the camera before the real work begins, that Somers had appropriated. When processing the found photo rolls in their black cassettes she is only interested in the first, “blind” exposures. Her mode of operation can be described as photography without a photographer. Somers inverts the usual procedure, cuts away what the photographer intended to record in a deliberate aesthetical gesture and keeps what he or she considered unworthy of a single glance. She gives this “failed” exposure a second life and a new meaning. Strolling in her archive of found images, the artist trusts in the poetry of the unexpected find: her gaze lights up the unconscious image and lends its autonomy. By assembling hundreds of these involuntary exposures, Somers generates a wonderful universe of technical images. – Inge Henneman
Dominique Somers will present her book 00A (Art Paper Editions, 2015) at S.M.A.K. in Ghent Sunday 17 January 2016, 11 am.