In general – Neil Hamon says - I am interested in our relationship with loss and in our attempts to work it out through narration and fiction.
It is from here, that his project of eighteen images - that are part of the Living History Archives series - comes from. These photographs, presented at the 52nd Venice Biennale, are a documentary work, through which Hamon examines the current social obsession with memory and history.
Neil Hamon, Mike Drewson & Damian Rowley - 3rd Infantry Division. U.S. Army. September 1944, hand tinted black and white print, 2007.
His still-life photographs capture moments in which men reenact past events in a very detailed and precise manner. The photographs presented in Venice are the result of a meticulous study and derive from a trip Hamon took to some English islands to discover the reenactment of historical battles.
We talked with him about his work, his relationship with history and loss, and about these men, who at the end of the day, go back in time to the Vietnam war or to the Second World War, and their nostalgia. We also talked about the Suicide Self Portraits series and he told us why one of his favorite sounds is that of the penny whistle, which is used to call back birds.