Visitation Scenes explores the lives of members of Andy Wiener’s family using photographic masks made from archive images from a family album. When worn, the masks create the effect of these people coming back to life in a ghostly, surreal way. Wiener travelled with the masks, to places where his relatives lived many years ago, and asked participants to wear the masks, to lend their identities to these people from the past. Scattered throughout the book is archive material of the places as they were, and other historical references.
These are images that remind us how common it is to be displaced, of the fragility of time and place, and of the transient nature of life. Andy Wiener’s work transcends the personal to reflect upon our society and experiences. As a pioneer in staged photography in the 1980s, Wiener has been influential in questioning the photograph as an evidence and a trace, revealing the performance of the everyday.
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Andy Wiener studied photography at the Royal College of Art in London. For over 30 years he has worked in the staged photography genre, often using photographic masks. His work has been published and exhibited widely. His first book, Cautionary Tales, was published by Cornerhouse in 1990 and his exhibitions have included a solo show at Street Level, Glasgow and a group show at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Alongside being a photographer, Wiener is a consultant psychiatrist. He graduated in medicine at Edinburgh and practices in children’s and young people’s mental health at the Tavistock Clinic in London. The common theme across both areas of his practice is the exploration of what lies beneath the surface.
Hardcover, 72 pages
29 x 24.8cm