"Mark Titchner's work is about belief, a recognition perhaps that the human spirit has infinite potential but is for the most part making do in a crappy world"

Titchner's work deals with the questions of identity, human nature and the unlikable aspects of our personality. He deconstructs, or destroys, our understanding of the things around us. His ideas are infectious, they began to tear away at the stability of the mind and make us question the topics he presents. But can an idea really cause irreparable damage?

What has the power to destroy the human mind?

'Does an artist have the right to turn the dead into aesthetic objects of contemplation?

Could it be the thrill of staring into the abyss from a position of comfort and safety?'
Self Portrait as Kurt Cobain; as Andy Warhol; as Myra Hindley; as Marilyn Monroe.
Douglas Gordon, 1996

Isn't it strange that a simple blonde wig can act as the identity as such polar opposite characters? That they can be summed up in such a simple way, and still be recognised?
Mark Titchner
"When the land subsumes the dead, they become the rich body of the earth, the dark matter of creation. As I walk the fields of this farm, beneath my feet shift the bones of incalculable bodies; death is the sculptor of the ravishing landscape, the terrible mother, the damp creator of life, by whom we are one day devoured."
Sally Mann, What Remains

The Exposed exhibition gave me a revelation regarding the woman known as the Countess of Castiglione. Who, despite my ignorance, was an important figure in the early years of photography.

"Over the next four decades she directed Pierre-Louis Pierson to help her create 700 different photographs in which she re-created the signature moments of her life for the camera. She spent a large part of her personal fortune and even went into debt to execute this project. Most of the photographs depict the Countess in her theatrical outfits, such as the Queen of Hearts dress. A number of photographs depict her in poses risqué for the era -- notably, images that expose her bare legs and feet. In these photos, her head is cropped out."

It may just be the way my mind works - but I can really see a correlation between her and Madonna. Obviously, in a way that Madonna has been influenced by this woman - I'd be interested to see if there is a connection between the Reinvention/Klein photoshoot and the work of Pierson and the Countess.

Photographs of violence produce paradoxical responses. On the one hand, the acknowledgement of the crime and confrontation with its gruesome effects is an admittance of the need for social improvement; on the other, repeated confrontation with such images may simply numb us to their shocking effects. Does photography allow us to bear witness to a victim's suffering, or does it anaesthetize us to the horror?

Part of the Exposed exhibition at the Tate Modern - it's a great collection they're showing. If you get chance, go to check it out.