A beautiful news-piece in the Guardian about the story of Scottish photographer Graham MacIndoe and his documentation of his own heroin addiction, with the particularity of it being written by his partner. It’s still a perspective on what the process of consumption is like, but if we take a closer look at these photographs, we quickly realize Graham is not merely taking snapshots, he is thinking about composition and light and how to best convey the emotional status he goes thru. From that point of view, this is a success, for intentions and results are a match.
I am not a casual observer of these images; after Graham and I broke up because of his drug use, I found 342 self-portraits – images he had not meant for me to see. “In some way, this is exactly what I’d been curious to see,” I wrote at the time. “All those close-ups of the needle going into a vein, his expression during and after, the rooms and stairwells I never saw… Maybe the point is, ‘So you wanted to see? Here it all is.’ And then we’re supposed to feel sick over our voyeurism, because maybe we didn’t need to see that after all.”
Now I think we do need to see it, and try to understand addiction from the inside, as Graham describes what he wanted to show. Not the view of an outsider, but a first-person account of the isolating, all-consuming nature of addiction. No one else is in the pictures; drugs have replaced everyone and everything that used to matter.