Otophraphy is a word I coined for my practice with partial cutouts, done on found photographs. It is a play on the word photography, where otohp is photo spelt backwards.

I take found photographs, and partially cut out the subject(s), then turn the photos on their side, in order to make visible any notes and scribbles found on the back. These annotations together with the partial cut outs, serve as clues to that which remains concealed, i.e. the front of the photos, which are kept hidden from view. The resulting pieces are delicate works with a relief like quality, where the partially cut out subjects, raised above the back of the photographs, almost give the appearance of, falling out of the picture.

The otohpgraphs, an ongoing series, also form part of my project the M{ }esum. I see them as muesum fragments, in a twofold way. Not only as fragments of private histories and memories of passing lives of anonymous strangers, bearing testimony to each individual’s transient existence as part of an inconceivable, yet unavoidable expansive (w)hole. Not only as an invitation to contemplate the other side (what is on the other side?) in a metaphysical sense, but also, a reflection upon, how in our digital age, the back of the photograph itself, to an increasing extent, is becoming extinct.

Here is a small example from the series. More will be added over time.