Photographs can be portals—pictorial narratives that draw on neglected moments in time and of a place. The process of making them becomes a rediscovery rather than a reproduction of place—each image makes different use of a language or history. As such, they perform amidst an increasing dialogue of the good, bad and often conflicted ideas that give greater context to our understanding of beauty and landscape.
My photographs exist as artifacts and as photographic objects. Starting with a large-format negative, I make each print in the studio using custom tinted, monochromatic pigment inks on heavy, fine art papers. The resulting prints engage both scale and a detailed intimacy.
Paul Ogier is an artist and photographer. Born in South Auckland, New Zealand, he holds an MVA from the University of Sydney and is a current PhD candidate at the UNSW Art & Design, Sydney. His work was included in the touring exhibition Black Mist, Burnt Country. His photographs question colonialism, nature and the cultural perils of dangerous thinking. His work is held in public and private collections in Australia. His studio is in Brooklyn, New York.
When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice. ― Robert Frank
“Paul Ogier photographs locations which he imbues, as do other artists discussed in this text, with a “frozen fullness”. His still images at first glance appear to be specific in relation to place, e.g. Gap Park, Sydney, Weston Park, Canberra, or the Hauptbahnhof, Berlin. But in looking at the photographs we see places which are classically composed, velvety and dreamlike. Gap Park, Sydney may seem most unlike what is known of that place—rocky cliffs notorious for suicides. Here we see past tangled foliage to a culvert or structure of some sort with a view through to complete blackness. Ogier is interested in constructed and transplanted landscapes and how we can discern their planning as a social space which is now in decay. The effect of time on the constructed space, as Gill has shown, can be almost ominous. This is also true of Ogier’s recent Hauptbahnhof, Berlin (2007), which is composed similarly but is smaller, printed in colour and includes three figures in the middle distance. A main railway station for a major city should be a lively social space, but here, as with Ogier’s other work, the place is not what it seems, it is not a functioning practical space but a place for the imagination.”
– Judy Annear, Photography and Place, Broadsheet Sep 2008 Vol 37.3 pp 204–207
“Paul Ogier is a photographer who has developed customised printmaking and photographic methods to record utopian images of the Australian bush. Using new and vintage lenses and large-format film cameras along with digital formatting technologies and printing with multiple layers of carbon-based pigments, Ogier builds idiosyncratic visions of the country.
Ogier is interested in the sense of ambition and idealism that is imprinted upon the earth and believes that Australia has many of these affects embedded in its hillsides and plains. Conceived in private meditation upon a living landscape, Ogier’s images are intoxicated with what is vanishing—remnants of plans and designs, people long gone, totemic geographies, mistakes, histories and nature.”
– Bala Starr, Curator, Song of sirens, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne. (http://www.art-museum.unimelb.edu.au/art_exhibitions_detail.aspx?view=143&category=past)