Looking Askance

Jamie Campbell


Looking Askance examines the skepticism inherent to photography’s reputation as a medium of objective representation. Through staged scenarios, Campbell asks audiences to consider the truth and fiction that occurs in front and behind the camera’s lens. Inspired by William H. Mumler, the first known Spirit Photographer dating back to 1861, this project continues the tradition of photographic fakery focusing on ghosts and other signs of intervention from the spirit world. Compared to Mumler’s elaborate pictures, Campbell’s sheeted-ghosts are modest, referencing the supernatural while still confirming a connection to the familiar. The artist plants clues so that the viewer understands the realness of the situation and mentally untangles what appears unexplainable.