Limerick, Ireland
Susan MacWilliam, After Image, 2002, b/w and colour DVD, stereo, 4 minutes 30 seconds

Susan MacWilliam

b. 1969, Ireland

After Image delves into the bizarre and the extraordinary, exploring the myth that the last image seen before death is retained on the retina of the eye. After Image uses film footage from Dario Argento’s obscure film Four Flies on Grey Velvet (Italy, 1971) and Gabriel Soria’s Los Muertos Hablan (Mexico, 1935) alongside footage shot by the artist.

During the late 19th and early 20th century, it was believed that the last image seen before death remained imprinted on the retina of the eye. This image was called an optogram, and the art of photographing such an image, optography. The ‘belief’ was validated by advancements in photography and scientific experiments carried out in Germany during the 1870s. The piece further explores my interest in photography and vision, and ideas about illusion and the paranormal.

(Text: on the border of each other catalogue, 2003)

Back to Artists