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An Intimate Trace 


An Intimate Trace exhibits the individual impressions and imprints left in the beds of relatives with a close relationship to the photographer after a night’s sleep. The entirety of the project involves those of Houlton’s immediate family – parents, brother, grandmother and herself. These images are linked to the idea of indexicality, they are acting as “a trace” (Sontag 1977: 154), documenting an intimate “non-[event]” (Cotton 2014: 138), of the subject’s daily lives; a personal state that goes unnoticed day-to-day. Voyeurism is another key theme related to the work, the creation of the images and the way they have been displayed as an exhibition allows the viewer “a mode of looking” (Wells 2015: 202), to peer into this private situation that is presented scientifically, like evidence. As this work documents such an ordinary event, it enables viewers to relate and consider in a different light their own daily non-events which perhaps often go unnoticed.

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