On Archaeology and Pirates, 2020

About 8000 years ago, following a substantial ice age, a piece of land now known as ‘Doggerland’ sank under the waters of the North Sea. Doggerland used to connect England with mainland Europe; apparently in the past one could walk completely dry from London to Berlin or Amsterdam. This submerged landscape currently rests on the sea bed, the dark waters and thick marine sediment have made Doggerland unreachable and invisible. Nowadays, it is very rare to explore a truly foreign land, a real ‘lost world’. However, the waters have placed Doggerland far beyond the reach of any modern expeditions or studies.

The parallels between Doggerland and the photographic medium in relation to the invisible and the real are fascinating. From the moment it was discovered, photography created an intricate relationship with what we understand as truth and what we perceive as reality.

This body of work investigates the medium's ability to create layered and recontextualised realities that cannot be perceived as unambiguous. The project is premised on an understanding that photography can both create a new truth and document or prove an existing one. Moreover, the project asks about the realism of a physical locale like Doggerland and how it is affected by the fact that it only exists through documentation and the specimens originating from it, rather than through the material presence of the place itself.

© Copyright Shir Raz 2020