David Birkin’s work I Was So Entranced Seeing That I Did Not Think About The Sight (2012) takes its title from Helen Keller’s description of the New York skyline atop the Empire State Building. Born in 1880, Keller, an American author, political activist and lecturer, was the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree.
The work is formed from a sheet of gelatin silver photographic paper which was exposed to the light while standing on the spot Keller stood and facing south toward the World Trade Center. After processing, it was embossed with a braille translation of her description. Framed without glass, the resulting Malevich-black photogram constitutes an image that is as tactile as it is invisible, forming a lyrical response to the dialectics of looking and seeing, visibility and vision.