The exhibition, Something Between Us (The Camera Club, London, 30 January to 4 March 2023) is a collection of images that explores the theme of connections and separations between people, cultures, and inanimate objects and the emotions that arise from these experiences. The artist has had the concept for the exhibition for over a decade. It was inspired by personal experiences, such as making a friend who was twice their age and a near-death experience which resulted in the loss of certain abilities but also granted a new “superpower” of absolute emotional control which led to a sense of disconnect from oneself leading to an appreciation for emotion previously considered a detriment.
From the Artist
Motivation for the Exhibition
When Ian Greaves mentioned he would like to do a sparse exhibition with a handful of prints on the theme of veiled portraits, I immediately offered to fill the walls with a related theme. For nearly a decade, a recurring thought was time to surface for the gallery adjacent to Ian’s Veiled Portraits.
The concept of “Something Between Us” has been in the back of my mind for years. There are times when we come to know someone, which triggers the wonder of what could have been had we known each other in a different circumstance. There also may be something special between us keeping us close. Or has the relationship changed, and we are not as close as we once were? Maybe we were never close. This collection of images is meant to acknowledge these sentiments poetically.
While it would be easy to daydream about possible romantic relationships, I find the depth of understanding someone of interest, of a different culture or lifestyle, fascinating. Some of that wanting of connection is also inanimate, such as a cookie in the window of the bakery, which has closed for the day or to exist in a different era. Not all separations are serious, but they stir up exploration for something that is not happening just the same.
The idea first came to light when I made a friend who was twice my age. We shared good times in the theatre and lecture halls of London. His stories of the past were full of exciting expeditions, which, in retrospect, I could see were pieces of a puzzle that, when put together, created an identity that few would see. We never talked about it. I was still living my adventures, but what if we were of the same age and peers? It would have been unlikely that we would have teamed up, but what experiences would we have shared if we did?
Above left: Waterwall – The double body language of this image expressed what I have wanted to explain without words. Above right: Reaching for the Green Light – “You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.” – The Great Gatsby
Near-death and a new superpower
Later in life, it would solidify further during the recovery from a near-death experience on a social photographic outing. That is a story for another time. The point is that instead of losing my life, I lost certain abilities — some would recover in a day, like the ability to walk; others would take weeks, like the ability to hear out of both ears… some recovery would take years.
One loss, however, granted a superpower. I often wished I would not be so over-emotional and sensitive. The lyrics to a song or a scene in a good movie would flood my eyes with tears — of joy as much as sorrow. As a musical colleague once remarked, “It is just a song – a story, but to you, it is not. It is real.”
After the injury, I found I could control these emotions. Actually, I could stop them completely. As time went on, I realised that these overwhelming emotions I hated about myself gave me life and a clear picture of why I had these feelings. This is exactly what I needed to progress my photography/art. What had happened to me?
A few years after the incident, while watching a film, my senses came back. There was a strong connection to the emotions in the film — this time, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t holding back the tears but embracing them. Then I was ashamed again because the story lacked depth — it was about a boy who falls in love with the star of an old film. She slips off the screen one day, and they meet, but they can never touch. It didn’t make any sense.
Then it came together. Wasn’t this an emotion we all feel? It was a form of Romeo & Juliet. There it is – that Something Between Us:
Maybe she’s already married… maybe you are… perhaps you are in jail… are forbidden by religion… a caste system… or maybe are a fictional character that never existed.
My drawing instructor would do anything to live in the Renaissance period. There is the dimension of time here. That’s a gap of hundreds of years, but minutes, even seconds, can prevent a connection – the feeling when you miss the last ship leaving the island for the season. I have a friend who told me about the concept of a multiverse and then disappeared. There was not much between us, but now there is Something Between Us that still troubles me. I’m losing the superpower and connecting to my old emotions. Now I wonder, is Something Between Us about an internal disconnection with myself?
Meet the artists
All the events below will take place at The Camera Club in London.
- Veiled Portraits — Ian Greaves: February 25, 10 am to 5 pm
- Something Between Us — Dan Bachmann: February 11, 10 am to 5 pm, 25 February, 3 pm to 6 pm
- Joint exhibition party: February 17, 6 pm to 9 pm.
Will there be prints available? I’d love one of Hand Language. Such a sweet shot.
Hi Paul, some of the prints will be available and Hand Language is one of them. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your interest
Hello Dan, A most interesting and intriguing, illustrated documentary analysis Thank you for sharing your journey and I look forward to reading or hearing more.