Atelier Franck Bordas at Paris-Photo 2006

Jill Hartley    FOTOTAROT    Selected Triptychs

A half-century ago, it was thought that one photograph could tell a whole story and a true one besides. Today it is evident that a photograph tells many tales and none are necessarily true. Undoubtedly, the meaning of a photograph is influenced by its context and also by the viewer’s imagination. We interpret according to our experience of the subject, our mood, our prejudices, and our preocupations. 

Thus I decided to attempt a purely subjective series: photographs that are only meant to be what you think they are, that invite you to project your thoughts and feelings and reveal what is on your mind. This implies new and uncharted territory for me, exploring the realm of the ambiguous and symbolic,  looking for pictures from dreams and the unconscious.  

FotoTarot, the game I have invented, consists of a deck of 100 photo-cards. The player selects three blindly, turns them face up and looks for a message or imagines a story. Other players may then be asked to interpret or offer their comments. 

As an exhibition format, I have chosen the triptych, combining three photographs of my own selection, to emulate the three drawn cards of my game in which the viewer must make his own connections or perhaps devine his fortune.