The Blank Cover (scroll down to see images)

Perhaps they painted the wall at night, when nobody was around. Or maybe they quickly sprayed their tag and ran off.

We can’t tell from what we see today. Perhaps the graffiti was a swastika; perhaps it was an anti-war slogan. The only certainty is that at a particular time, in a particular place, someone tried to do something to the surface of this wall.

The companies whose job it is to remove graffiti power-wash the paint off or, as in these photographs, disguise the paint with more paint.

What we see in the photographs are surfaces disappearing into themselves. Acts of ‘obliteration’ that show what happened to the wall by drawing our attention to the disappearance of each previous state.

Each layer reveals something – a marked surface; the desire to obliterate that mark with another mark, and finally a photographic representation of that process.

The final image you see on the gallery wall is a sheet of paper on which a photographic image appears, and this image itself marks the white of the paper. The final photograph therefore duplicates the action of showing and hiding that is the ostensible subject of the photograph.

These photographs aren’t ‘for’ the expressive right to create graffiti; neither are they ‘against’ the visual blight of painting on walls. Instead these images show monochromatic blanks in which we ‘see’ a battle for visual space.

Through the visual history of these places, we become aware that our social space is littered with monochromatic gaps: places where something is being fought over. In the process they become blank canvases, end up resembling the pure space of the modernist monochrome, and draw our attention to the act of representation itself.