I’ve been trying to decide on what work to put into our departments graduate exhibition tomorrow for the past two days. After much deliberation I’ve decided on a painting on vellum and two abstract photographs. (None of the photos in this post will be submitted to the exhibition.)
Despite trepidations about the photographs I’m interested to see how they’re received and I’m eager to try something a bit new while I have the opportunity to do so.
I’m still trying to stabilize an over-arching vision for my thesis exhibition so that I can have some sort of game plan – for the most part this is all coming together. There remains a part of me that fights with any idea of containment though and the abstract photos are indicative of what’s causing conflict.
Throughout my reading of Hegel, Elkins and Zizec I’ve become fascinated with the idea of the parallax gap, or what exists between an object and our perception of that object. I’ve begun to explore this idea visually with some alternative photo processes and simple manual abstraction through more traditional means.
My interest in alternative photography has been long-standing but has recently been rejuvenated by an investigation of post-mortem photography. I love the look of old photos, especially those from the 1800’s. There is a transient quality to them that might be simply due to the process itself (but maybe not).
I’d like to think that there is something to the movement that is inescapably captured through the necessity of long exposures. Movement is very intrinsic to our idea of life – the stillness of my dead subject matter begins to unnerve me at times and it is nice to work with something that attempts to capture moments which facilitate another perspective of living.
In the gap between object and perspective there is constant movement, constant shifting and vibrating – my passion for the process of observation is ignited by the idea of what lies beneath – what cannot be seen. Perhaps it is this same quality that seduces me into my love affair with mortality.
Charles Burchfield, of whom I greatly admire, reached a point in his own artistic path when he felt that the purity of realism was no longer fully capable of communicating everything he actually witnessed in the presence of nature. Burchfield felt it was imperative that he come up with a set of symbolic ciphers in order to achieve any real level of representation. The connection to the real was there but the result was more real than the real – hyper-real (Lacan).
While I do not believe I’ve reached a similar point, I do recognize the truth behind the theory. The abstract photographs I’ve been taking are representative of this acknowledgment.
Technical note: All of these photos have only been digitally manipulated so far as to alter the value levels; all color, transparency, etc. is a result of manually manipulation at time of exposure.