John House

Portfolio site for contemporary photographer and artist John House

In Amber (ongoing)

“All this happened, more or less

– Kurt Vonnegut

In Amber is a collection of stories we are all familiar with. Told entirely through sequencing archival imagery and borrowing from cliché, stereotype and shared popular culture, each book offers a narrative that has been repeated by storytellers for centuries. 

An unknown protagonist moves through shifting aesthetics, fleeting glances and alternative realities. Past memories are given an alternative voice – a reflection on current culture that challenges our belief in the conventional linearity of time or history.

This work examines the common patterns such tales follow. Inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s thesis on the shape of stories, it reflects the predictable and idiosyncratic ways in which people draw meaning and narrative from photographs. Each reader will weave their individual ideas, experiences, cultural references and bias into the storylines and are invited to use their imagination to fill in the gaps.

Images are imbued with memory, the act of making a photograph is to preserve a moment; when these images are looked back upon, they act as a catalyst for recollection. In Amber plays with this notion of memory, creating a new conversation between the original photographer, artist and viewer.

This work suggests an alternative social context, embracing endless epochs, places, forms and tastes. It sits outside of time and attempts to be immune to its effects and encourages the consideration of another.

Page turn videos of the first volume can be seen below. This is the dummy book which will be published and available to buy shortly….hopefully!