Erratum AGFA Color (oversaturated) Camera: Robertson Process ...
Christopher Williams


Christopher Williams
Erratum AGFA Color (oversaturated) Camera: Robertson Process Model 31 580 Serial #F97-116 Lens: Apo Nikkor 455 mm stopped down to f90 Lighting: 16.000 Watts Tungsten 3200 degrees kelvin Film: Kodak Plus-X Pan ASA 125 Kodak Pan Masking for contrast and colour correction Film developer: Kodak HC 110 Dilution B (1:7) used @ 68 degrees Fahrenheit Exposure and development times (in minutes): Exposure Development Red Filter Kodak Wratten PM25 2'30 4'40 Green Filter Kodak Wratten PM61 10'20 3'30 Blue Filter Kodak Wratten PM 47B 7'00 7'00 Paper: Fujicolor Crystal Archive Type C Glossy Chemistry: Kodak RA-4 Processor: Tray Exposure and development times (in seconds): Exposure Development Red Filter Kodak Wratten #29 8 Green Filter Kodak Wratten #99 15'5 1'10 @ 92 degrees Fahrenheit Blue Filter Kodak Wratten #98 30'5 October 7, 2000
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Framed: 762 x 660mm
contact print

Collection Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth

The photographs of American artist Christopher Williams are densely layered with meaning. They often provide a critical perspective on 20th century industrial culture and photography’s position within it. Erratum is part of a series Williams produced in 2000. Working with a specialist in photographic colour, he used the equipment and materials sold by the three major 20th century photographic companies Kodak, Fuji and AGFA in an attempt to photographically reproduce their distinctive yellow, green and orange brand colours. The deep AGFA orange proved difficult, and eventually to Williams’ amusement he realised he could only recreate it accurately using a combination of Fuji and Kodak products.

An erratum is a post-publication correction of an error in a published text. Erratum’s extensive title meticulously details Williams’ technical process as he corrects AGFA’s embarrassing inability to represent its own corporate identity. This focus on the mechanics of photography, coupled with Williams’ immaculate production values, recalls the slick perfection of commercial or advertising photography. Shot in a studio with absolute precision and control, this dishwasher is, as one reviewer described Williams’ work, “fiendishly clean”.

This odd, backless dishwasher with its gleaming load of AGFA-orange dishware resembles nothing more than a model in a commercial showroom, or perhaps an exhibit in a design museum. Now ubiquitous in homes in the western world, dishwashers were once the ultimate statement of wealth and modernity. With their mechanisation of household tasks, they are associated with the ‘liberation’ of the housewife and changing social structures in the 20th century. Like colour photographic film, dishwashers became widely available in the 1960s; the tipping point of the rise of consumer culture and globalised capitalism. By branding this symbol of industrial modernisation with perfect, rich AGFA orange, Erratum draws an explicit connection between commercial colour photography and the modern nuclear family.