Dr Evan John Reece
Born Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand.
Began photographic career as B+W printer in Auckland, New Zealand in 1982.
Since that time I have worked as a newspaper, expedition and freelance photographer
as well as lecturing in photography in both New Zealand and the U.S.
Exhibited in New Zealand, Canada and U.S. galleries and published in New Zealand and America.
Completed Doctorate of Fine Art (Photography) from University of Auckland 2005.
Currently living and working in Auckland as photographer, lecturer and researcher.
My work involves an investigation into the ‘self’, our inner understanding of who and what we are, and how this internal template is applied consciously or unconsciously to the establishment of identity.
Given the subjectivity of this investigation, a comprehensive photographic study of the private and the public was presented in the form of 48 artist’s books for my doctoral examination / exhibition.
Central to my work is the way photography becomes a vehicle for memory and as such materialises when we experience a retrieval clue – a clue in whatever shape our senses privilege. Historically the photograph has been regarded as a tangible object that inserts people, places and events, and occupies an almost unquestionable place in history. However, the changes in electronic based media would suggest that the photographic object is now a diminishing signifier. The effect this shift will have on the way we photograph in relation to ‘memento’ is as significant as it is disturbing to research in this field.
As we age, memories, in particular visual ones, remain substantially the same. However, memories may not be exact copies of the material lodged in the brain and information may be altered, deleted or modified in the re-telling, in whatever form that occurs. Conscious erasures and deletions have become part of today’s digital culture and underpin my research. Editing material to present the most complimentary profile of an individual or erasure of background information raises questions of authenticity, and where once the photographic image could be considered legitimate proof, digital photography cannot make such a claim, nor be a living entity.