The essay reflects on Photography and Memory, in occassion of Ron O'Donnell's exhibition at the City Art Centre Edinbugh.
These images introduce us to a specific place that can be accurately designated. Above all, however, the photos focus on the characteristics of the respective place - be it a shop, a pharmacy or the Hall of Mirrors. These characteristics demonstrate the universal aspect of the photographs which also trigger memories to those of us who may not have been citizens of Edinburgh. Walter Benjamin wrote, memory is “not an instrument for the exploration of the past, but the medium”. This concept can be applied to photography as well. Photography is the medium opening a window to a concentrated, captured memory. Such memory is evoked by an artist in an aesthetic condensation of the situation experienced, as explored in this essay further and demonstrated through this exhibition.
Stutterheim, K. (in press). Photography and Memory. In Ron O'Donnell - Edinburgh: A last World (2-5). Edinburgh: Edinburgh Napier University