Wednesday, 28 August 2013

ROMA Photo Souvenir

Here's an old "Photo Souvenir" from Rome. I love these little pocket time travelling glimpses into the recent past especially when the subject matter concerns the relics of the distant past. The concept is so simple and the construction follows suit - tiny snaps in a simple paper wrap.  There is something gratifying about opening the wrap each time and ritualistically putting the photocards back after viewing them. The other simplistic joy they offer is the minor irregularity in size of the cards - they all fit into the paper but as they are of slightly different dimensions they form a unique deckled edge each time they are viewed and returned to the paper wrap. As with many of these items, you can't buy the modern equivalent today - at least not with the same exquisite simplicity. As with old type printed items there is a slight impression in the printed text - the text possesses the surface it is printed into. This rarely happens in modern printing where the print is seemingly digitally pasted into the surface. You get something extra from these objects just from running your fingers over the print. How aptly romantic for such a souvenir from one of Europe's most enchanting of cities. When I look at these cards I am nearly always reminded of the excellent short story "Roman Fever" by Edith Wharton. Short stories are similar to ephemera in that they are brief but tangible and can remain in your conscience long after you think you've disregarded them. Similarly they can be retrieved and revisited and brought to life by other imagery. You can read Roman Fever here. Items like these have always inspired me in my own work - see here - my version captures the essence, but perhaps not quite the romantic side of a place.
Paper and photographs with letterpress. Comprises of 16 photo cards. Approx. 55mm x 45mm x 6mm