Thinking a lot about the production and depiction of space. Having done some preliminary reading, I am struck by the idea of an artwork producing space (what sort of space?). This 1660 painting of the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, by Emanuel de Witte, depicts a “real imaginary” space and introduces ahistorical elements designed to stimulate thought and discussion of contemporary issues of recent history and religious politics – maybe even to make a subversive statement:
It’s as though the anomalous Christ-image and the nursing mother in the foreground are ghostly remnants of the Protestant church’s previous appearance and usage as a Catholic place of worship, glaringly obvious to the contemporary viewer, but unnoticed by the characters in the painting.
There’s something similar in a Museum of London mobile app, which superimposes a historical London view on a modern photograph of the same spot, giving a reminder of the layers of history which we walk over every day. I particularly liked this image printed in the British Journal of Photography:
The limited colour range in the modern photo blends with the earlier monochrome, almost producing a single image. As with the de Witte painting, you have to look closely to see the contrast between then and now.