Slips and Burns (work in progress), 2024
Mixed materials 
Design by Maria Ahmed
Text by David Bate

Slips and Burns is an experimental archive exploring the photograph as an unreliable surface. Images are subjected to physical and digital manipulation, mixing and masking, raising questions about the malleable nature of the archival image and the role of projection and fantasy in encountering images from the past.

In Pursuit of an Apparition Hands can Miss the Object
Collaborative zine with Sarah-Jane Field
Text and Design by Maria Ahmed

148 x 210mm, Colour, Stapled, Printed on Recycled Natural, 36 pages

In Pursuit of an Apparition, Hands Can Miss the Object is a collaborative project where found, synthesised, printed, and digital artefacts meet in unusual configurations. Their juxtaposition sparks an enigmatic visual dialogue between a range of materials.

Maria Ahmed uses collage strategies to excavate, fragment and disrupt images, opening them up to multiple, unstable readings. In turn, Sarah-Jane Field positions 21st-century machine-generated output with fragments from 20th-century books about photographic [im]perfections. In a sequence that welcomes unpredictability, a dance of resistance and control emerges as artists performatively push and pull against the images – and each other – in a playful conversation about today's visual culture.

Heaven Speed the Chameleon, Artist’s Book, 2021

210 x 275mm, Colour, Perfect Bound, printed on 130gsm Silk
Text and Design by Maria Ahmed, 112 pages

Heaven Speed the Chameleon describes a journey from early photography to a torrent of contemporary digital imagery. Photographs from the past collide with those from the present in dynamic collages and sequences which collapse and remake meaning. Stolen stock photos meet sticky ghosts of Empire: the archive is violently plundered and pushed towards uncertain futures.

Soft Knowledge Artist’s Book, 2020

184 x 237mm, Colour, Perfect Bound, printed on 130gsm Silk
Text and Design by Maria Ahmed, 96 pages

Soft Knowledge draws on Aby Warburg’s concept of an “afterlife” of images in which the image continues to “adhere and haunt”: The history of art is a (his)story of ghosts that stick to our skin. George Didi-Huberman defined Warburg’s notion of the surviving image as “an image that, having lost its original use value and meaning, comes back, like a ghost, at a particular moment when it demonstrates its latency, its tenacity, its vivacity". Through analogue and digital collage, Soft Knowledge explores these moments when images resurface and return in unexpected ways.

Notes: Georges Didi-Huberman (2009) Confronting Images: Questioning the Ends of a Certain Art History