Mar 30 2012: Ghosts At Leisure: Thirteen Negative Prints Showing Everyday Scenes (c.1960s)

These images are printed negatives on small photographic cards, and they show various members of my own family, before I was born, in a terraced back yard with the two retired pit ponies my mother had as a young woman, and my father, mother, aunt, grandfather and grandmother on holiday in some unknown location, probably in the UK, but it’s hard to say for certain. The eerie quality granted the otherwise everyday snapshots by the rendering of these individuals in negative is haunting, and earlier posts here have presented other views in similarly spectral form. Perhaps it’s the fact that the negative’s reversal of light and dark in this case transforms everyone seen into a kind of ghost of their own physical presence, a ghost, moreover, that has come to seem more literal, as some of those glimpsed – my grandfather and grandmother, aunt and others – are now gone, while others, thankfully still with us, might consider the continued existence of younger selves in these pictures a kind of temporal haunting with its own poignancy.

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