Sentences on Christopher Williams, “The Production Line of Happiness”
The collection gives us an experience (white sand and palm beaches, a new haircut, the promise of a travel advertisement) while also exerting our attention to contemporary objects (objects whose existence emerged in the post-World War II economic boom).
The images start becoming something else for me. A thick layer of performance and theatrics embeds itself inside the photographs. I wasn’t only looking at images whose subjects function for human delight, but I was looking at images whose function it is to perform, to display: images meaning to be a spectacle.
An idea gently passes through, or rather a heightened awareness? that photography (as a tool) has been used to function as a method to feed consumer culture.
Compare it to the historical use of photography (or rather photography’s beginning): the act of photographing was purely used for documentation purposes. Images in present cultures are being used more for the consumption of its representation rather than for its record.
Williams reveals photography as a stage and superior playhouse. An array of mundane photos of mundane things which serve more than just being a picture of a “delight” but images that serve capitalist society and commercial purposes, pictures which aren’t cultivated but meant to be swallowed and ingested.