Susan MacWilliam

Susan MacWilliam - Vane

Susan MacWilliam, After Image, video, 2002

Susan MacWilliam’s work examines photography and vision and explores ideas about illusion and the paranormal. Her video, After Image, delves into the bizarre and the extraordinary, exploring the late nineteenth century myth that the last image seen before death is retained 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. After Image uses 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. A stereoscope – containing a stereoscopic image observed through special viewing glasses – is also shown.