What is it to be human? Piece of the day – Thursday

The one among the many – Jemma Mellor
The one among the many – Jemma Mellor

So. Today’s piece is a series of six photographs by Jemma Mellor, who says this about the set:

The artist is looking at the tension between our opposing desires to be in community yet also to retain our individuality.

We see the benefits of being a collective, being united with others, avoiding isolation and being part of something bigger than ourselves, yet we still long to stand out from the crowd, to be noticed for our individual attributes and to be seen as unique and different.

By focusing on scenes from the city that are devoid of humans, this artwork particularly focuses in on the urban landscapes that are designed with this tension in mind- bringing us together, yet keeping us separate.

The artist is not making a critique of individualism or communal existence, she is simply highlighting this necessary balance that exists for every human being. To be the one among the many.

My first reaction was ‘where is everyone?’ which, I suppose, is picking up on the formal constraint Jemma has imposed on herself for this piece. Thinking further, the one, the isolated person, is the photographer, and by extension the viewer. I become the one, looking at the accommodations for all the other ones who form the many.

You can see a better image of The One Among The Many here, alternatively, come along to the Holy Biscuit to view the work in person and taken in the whole What Is It To Be Human? exhibition which is on until Saturday 25th July (open 11 am – 4 pm).


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