I’ve been thinking about including text with some of my images for this project, to add realism to the images and to give the viewer a better sense of narritive behind the photograph they are being shown. I found this project called ‘Out There’ by Chris Patterson which revolves around a block of text written by an american teenager before he killed his girlfriends family and went on the run. Patterson follows the route they took across America, investigating their story and taking images of places they visited and passed though. The project floats somewhere between documentary and fiction, as Patterson puts it he photographs the phantom event….
‘I have long been fascinated with and inspired by phantom events—events that have little or no physical presence in a place or an image but have a very strong relationship with the place that is photographed. The resulting images focus on the quiet, spatial context and emotional energy of a place. I feel that these images exhibit a certain otherness—a sense of what was, or what could have been.’
Check out the awesome MakingRoom Magazine for an interview about this project, where Chris talks about the why he included text in with his work.
‘The photographs need to speak for themselves as much as possible. Whether or not there is an actual story behind the photographs, they need to stand on their own as images. My inclusion of some of the non-photographic items—the notes and letters, among other things—is meant to provide a few narrative clues, or thought-process starting points. They are also fascinating documents in themselves.’
If I do include text with my own images I would want them to add to the narrative that the images have already started rather than a closed meaning that can be applyed to the work.