Found Photos

September 16, 2010

In 1994 I was living in Surry Hills. One Sunday I walked to the city & visited Ashwoods second hand book and record store. This was when it was an enormous two level shop on Pitt St between Liverpool & Goulburn. I bought four or five LPs that day all for about $1 or $2 each. They were cheap enough that I was buying them because I liked the cover design, or perhaps one song title sounded promising.

The only title that I remember was ‘Blood & Chocolate’ by Elvis Costello, because when I got home & started having a good look at the records I found there were six photographic prints tucked deep inside the sleeve. These are the fragments of a narrative with no explanation. A domestic dispute and two protaganists. Perhaps an unseen third as we don’t know who took the photos.

The young man on the floor, hand covering his face & most of his body obscured by a blank wall. I’d always assumed he had caused the damage, possibly drunk, and then passed out. Recently it occured to me that he might have been subdued by someone & was lying there defeated. He seems to have been pictured as the offending party and perhaps was consciously hiding his face. Was he the one who later hid the incriminating prints inside the LP cover? This would have taken place in 1994 or earlier, before the era of digital copies.

Based on the furnishings I think this was her flat. She has been assaulted and is displaying the bruises on her arm as evidence. It looks like they could be from fingers that grabbed tightly and dug in. I’ve always assumed that the young man was her grandson but I don’t know.

There are two other prints, however they are alternate views of the shots included here and don’t add any extra information. I’ve kept these photos for 16 years not quite knowing what to do with them. Sometimes I show them to people who might be interested. It’s a puzzle that I stumbled across.


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