Cityscape is a working title for this body of images. A series that will depict Glasgow’s working environment by using historical photographic records of Glasgow’s industrial past in conjunction with a new series of photographs showing the office-scapes of the city’s current labour economy in light of deindustrialisation and the subsequent reinvention of Glasgow. It will examine the significance of photographic records, how far photographic collections can be accepted as accurate renditions of history and the influence an archive, such as the Mitchell Library’s, has on the collective memory of place.
This work will translate current and historic statistical information into a collection of photographs of the Glasgow workforce as it exists across all sectors. Through considered editorial and curatorial choices it will be possible to examine the significance of the archive by using the language of survey to interrogate the premise of accepted ‘truth’. This is reflective of the contingent nature of photographic representation collected in archives from which subsequent interpretations of history are formed.
Through showing historical and contemporary photographs together it is possible to explore the collective psychological space that cannot be illustrated through the comparison of numbers or surveys alone. What does industrial change look like? And how has this affected our city’s psyche? Whilst this work is anchored in the formulaic structure of international labour force statistics, the interplay of two distinct sets of images will create a continuum that can bring life to the reality of our communities past and present.