The Blindest Man

Emily Graham

2015 - 2019

The Blindest Man explores the contradictions of a pursuit that has no answers and no ends.

In 1993 an anonymous author buried a golden treasure, which has lain undiscovered in the landscape of France for more than twenty-five years. This unsolved mystery has obsessed treasure hunters ever since, and many continue to search, guided by a book of allusive clues that was originally released by the author when it was first buried. The author is now dead.

Although the puzzle was designed to be solved within a few years, a community fuelled by competition has developed around it. Rumour, misinformation and red-herrings spread, confusing many individual routes of investigation, now an alternate reality game without end.

In the making of the The Blindest Man, I joined in this pursuit, acting as treasure hunter looking for photographs as I followed other hunters’ failed searches across France. I am less interested in solving the puzzle than in various individual interpretations of the clues, the notion of treasure hunting itself, and where this leads those who seek definitive answers: the dreams, fantasies and obsessions of individual searchers. Guided by the hunters’ experiences, journeys, routes, encounters, misinformation, dead-ends and so on, I follow in their footsteps, fascinated by the precarious nature of pursuit and failure, and in turn, photography’s own slippery relationship to truth, searching, interpretation, fantasy and obsession.

The Blindest Man consists of 47 original photographs, and an accompanying booklet.

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  • Yvan, 2017.

  • Nimes, 2018.

  • Phone booth, 2017.

  • Cover, 2018.

  • Elisa, 2016.

  • Circles, 2016.

  • Paris, 2018.

  • Pattern Net, 2016.

  • Out of Paris, 2017.

  • Yvan II, 2017.

  • Staircase, 2018.

  • Pull, 2017.

  • Sun, 2018.

  • Frank, 2017.

  • Trompe l'oeil, 2017.

  • Appear, 2018.

  • Disguise, 2017.

  • Summer Journey, 2018.

  • Somnambule, 2018.

  • A collection of empty holes, 2019.