The low key picture of Paradise below is from the archives. It is from the 1990s and it indicates the the content of photography is history. What photographs do is to bring the past into the present, confronting us with the passage of time and the stillness of that which has gone. For Walter Benjamin the photograph has a potential to open up history, allowing us to see the past, to see something of what the ‘Angelus Novus’ is staring at, as he is blown backwards into the future.
Paradise was made on one of my first steps to move away from photographing the CBD and Port Adelaide. It was made on one of my early roadtrips to the northern eastern Mt Lofty Ranges and the Murray Mallee plains in South Australia. From memory the suburb was called Paradise, which is a north-eastern suburb of Adelaide.
Adelaide’s north western suburbs were alien territory to me and I briefly wandered around Paradise whilst I was on my way to Walker Flat on the River Murray, via the Lower North East Rd and Gorge Rd then Gumeracha and Mt Pleasant.
I had the style of the New Topographical movement in the US in the back of my mind and a vague sense of wanting to critique the linear conception of development through continuity that is the implicit understanding of historical time in the Enlightenment — eg. as in Kant’s “Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose.”
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