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Heather McCalden

MA work

It felt like a movie, but it was just a photograph

The title of this work comes from a very specific sensation: that of momentarily feeling as though your life has the visual quality and subsequent sentimentality of a motion picture. But, ontologically speaking: how is such a state of being constituted?

It Felt Like a Movie... seeks to answer this question, but from the other side: what happens when a photograph develops skin, a material body? What happens when a photograph takes on its own presence and its contents brings to mind that sensation of falling into a moving image?


  • MA Degree


    School of Humanities


    MA Photography, 2015



  • At the bottom of it, you could say I'm deeply concerned with time. The passing of it, and its consequent preservation. The movement of time unnerves me; one feels it coming and going without much to show for it. As a result I deal conceptually with loss, nostalgia, defeat and appropriation, hoping, somehow, to create some type of personal resolution in regards to lost time.  

    I manage this preoccupation by creating images – ones that unfold in real time, and others that are frozen and cut-off from their original contexts. All images, whether they're aware of it or not, whether they are moving, still or performed live, deal in the currency of duration, and they are in turn comments on this – even if they fail to recognise it. I take this to heart in my work and attempt to delineate the affects of these comments while making some of my own.

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) Fine Art, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, 2005