25 Aug 2013

Liminal Space: past/presence by Mari Boman

London ghostsign photographed by Mari Boman
Cow extract, novel electromagnetic substance (Mari Boman)

Mari Boman, a photographer, took ghostsigns as the subject matter for her project titled ‘Liminal Space: past/presence’. The result is this series of nine beautiful images of some of London’s most well known ghostsigns. Not only that but the titles offer cryptic clues as to the stories these signs tell us about London’s history and their place within this.

Each of these photos has been produced as Harman Gloss Baryta Inkjet prints at 12x594x420mm and Mari says the following about her treatment of the topic:

“The so-called ghostsigns are advertising signs hand printed onto walls. This used to be a popular form of advertising mainly from late 19th century to sometime in the middle of the 20th century in Britain and a few other countries, such as France and Belgium. Some still exist but many are faded or completely vanished as gentrification often brings destruction of old buildings to make space for new. Today, most of us walk past them day after day without noticing – we barely see them, yet when we do their existence might reminds us of the past in an often uncanny way. It is as if the ghostsigns exist in a liminal space between past and presence.

Each sign has its own story to tell: it might say something about the area or street it is located in, or about the same building it is painted on, or simply about the history of advertising of this particular brand. Some of these histories cannot be told in short form, but instead need time and attention to be fully appreciated. The captions for each photograph in this project are hints of their histories, an attempt to remind us or inform us of something that once was, without revealing the whole truth.”

I think it’s a wonderful approach, some more examples can be found below with the full set available to view on Mari’s own site.

London ghostsign photographed by Mari Boman
Unmatched independence in Bow (Mari Boman)
London ghostsign photographed by Mari Boman
New tasty food covers older taste (Mari Boman)
London ghostsign photographed by Mari Boman
Milling failure, filming success (Mari Boman)

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