Matthew Reason with photographs by Chris Nash
Photography has long been utilised as a medium that allows us to capture, see and reflect upon the world around us. This is not least the case with movement, where the ability of the camera to freeze motion has revealed visual experiences otherwise beyond the scope of the human eye. Whether it is Eadweard Muybridge demonstrating to a nineteenth-century public that a galloping horse removes all feet from the ground at once or Howard Edgerton showing a twentieth-century audience the impact of a bullet passing through the flame of a candle, these images have raised questions about our perception and understanding of movement within the still image. While the work of Muybrudge and Edgerton draws upon our faith in the objective veracity of the photographic image, this chapter takes a different approach to the relationship between still photography and movement, exploring a collaboration with photographer Chris Nash that asked him not to capture movement in the still image but instead to represent the concept of kinesthetic empathy itself.
The chapter discusses Nash’s images, produced especially for this publication, and also the debates they raise about practice-based research, about forms of knowledge (practitioner knowledge, embodied knowledge, discursive and non-discursive knowledge), about the possible differences between a cognitive understanding of movement and an embodied or experiential feeling of movement. Between and through these debates this chapter also seeks both to say within the text and to present within the images something about kinesthetic empathy.