CVAN publish a new film on John Kippin edited from sensitive interviews with Alesandro Vincentelli of Baltic. The film allows Kippin to talk at length about his process – his very conscious image making and the irony embodied in his work. The main thrust of the film and his opening remarks are based on his approach to landscape and comments on his bemusement that we cannot appreciate the ‘process’ of photography – thinking that photography is just capture and that is it. Viewers do not give credit to the importance of, developing, filing, cataloguing and editing to print or publish. Later in the film, Kippin makes connections between the black and white process and drawing, pointing out that the simplification, caused by the black and white process, renders back and white photographs closer to immediate drawing.
‘Hidden’ is one of my favourite photographs. There are many reasons – the formal composition, with its gentle diagonals opening the huge space, its fantastic open Northumbrian landscape and sky contrasting with the wreckage. The single word opens up this work, changing absolutely how the it is viewed. It is also a word that defines its local context – if you live in Northumberland, you know that this photograph is taken on the Northumberland military ranges – right next to the National Park, it is a bombing alley for the RAF. It is hidden, because no public access is allowed, although during the Gulf wars, we Northumbrian residents, certainly knew about it from the screaming jets flying low. When this work was cited in a exhibition review, the London author could not make out what Kippin referred to, I like that!