The past haunts us because we believe that it makes us who we are. The psychotherapist, when meeting a patient for the first time, will begin by drawing out the narrative that an individual has constructed to assimilate their life experience. MIKE GOLDING digital works deal with history and memory taking issue with the past and its authority. Golding employs historical objects not only in social terms, but also as metaphors for the personal and psychological effects of the past. In recent works he used English stately home mirrors as subject matter. In “Mimic” he digitally altered his father's photographic archive to consider aspects of memory and psychological formation.


Mike Golding has developed a multimedia practice through artworks that challenge photographic realism. His work is concerned with our relationship to the past creating and reworking photographs of historical sites and extant photographic material. In doing so Golding undermines the certainty of what was photographed by manipulating, removing, replacing and animating objects.

Photographic realism is related to social, political and psychological formation. The indexicality of the photographic image and its association with truth has been key within realist practices, and also plays a role in how we think of the past, being seen as proof and remembrance in both the official archive and the family album.

What we consider to be the proof of the past, be it site, artefact or photograph, has been reworked through the application of digital technologies to the photographic image. In this way, the past has been metaphorically re-imagined, a strategy that subverts both official histories and personal memory. For his solo show at the Digital Arts Gallery Golding presenting four key works:

Thin Air 2005. Golding photographed mirrors in a variety of historic English houses and then digitally removed his reflection - effectively rendering the camera and photographer invisible and erasing their viewpoint.

Cabinet 2003. is a 10 monitor video installation. Objects on display at Wallington historic house were moved and animated to disrupt and undermine their authority as “proof” of history or status.

Mimic 2006-07. In Mimic, Golding creates alternative narratives from the material of the past by altering negatives taken by his father in the 1960’s. Golding digitally substitutes the faces of women his father photographed for his own portrait as a boy.

Signal 2006. is a digitally altered photograph of Golding’s father, aged 18, in his army uniform. The image is accompanied by an audio track taken from a found recording of his father’s voice.