Andrew G. Fisher is an English photographer concerned with the passing of time. His project ‘Forgotten Corners’ is about the abandonment of buildings: these black-and-white photographs show apartment blocks and pedestrian tunnels and stairwells that are empty and crumbling. Grafitti and broken glass are the main signs of human passage through the space. One image is of a rubbish bin with a pile of cigarette butts on it; it’s unclear how long they’ve been there for.
Andrew G. Fisher, from ‘Beside the Seaside’
‘Beside the Seaside’ seems at similarly desolate at first. Merry-go-round seats hang empty and unmoving, concrete benches by the sea are empty, handrails disappear onto the sand, guiding no-one. The clamour and colour of Martin Parr’s images of similar seaside resorts are gone, replaced not only by the monochrome of the photos but by the absence of people. there are some figures but they are in the distance, clad in winter coats. In both these series there are visual similarities: there are similar shots of bent traffic dividers on both. These sites are abandoned too, but at the seaside that abadonment is temporary. The first project looks at locations that seem not to have a future and the second gives us places that are simply waiting for one. But these pictures make us aware of the sense of pause that’s present (that’s in the present, I suppose). He is looking not just at places that are ignored but at periods that are ignored.
Andrew G. Fisher, ‘Perspective’
Fisher also has another project dealing with time, ‘Perspective’, about the “effects of time on life”. He takes a fictional or allegorical approach here, but what is interesting as well is his choice to present it as a video of stills cut to an ambient soundtrack. We see a young woman waking then walking to work then returning with a box of belongings. Then there is a quick decline into homelessness, there is a companion, a suggestion of addiction (a weak point for me–the shot of syringe on the ground seems a bit melodramatic given the restrained tone of the rest of the piece). There is a photograph of what looks like a childhood by the sea. She makes her way there with her companion. Maybe that is the end for her, maybe she’s been alone the whole time. There is some connection to the past that she’s made, some memory she’s managed to experience again. Some of the locations seem similar to those of Fisher’s other work, but here, by turning the stills into a video, he adds another dimension to the idea of time, especially with the subtle shifts in pace he employs. Fisher is working towards turning ‘Perspective’ into a book, presumably maintaining the same narrative. Nevertheless, for now the video works well on its own terms as an exploration of time and memory and hope.