Over the past year or so, I have been experimenting with large scale landscape images printed out on Pictorico film and then printed through the cyanotype process. Ive endeavored to take these images out of traditional matting and framing formats and instead, hang them in the "natural environment" of the gallery space. While the images are stunning hung like that, as they embody a beautiful kinetic aspect as well as a remarkable translucence, they are decidedly harder to sell given their exposure. I decided to enter the images in a local show at Pekin here in North Dakota so I was forced to find an alternative display method that would protect the images while still evoking aspects of the kinetic and translucent natures that I love.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
The Archival Turn
Emerging from my interests in memory and vernacular photography this collection of work intends to explore several related questions:
What guides our thinking about historical artifacts?
How are these ideas at play in the curation of an archive?
What role does the archive play in the formation of memory and history?
Traditionally, an archive has been regarded as a repository of objects and information essential to human history. However, in the last half of the 20th Century it underwent a profound conceptual change shifting its emphases from the objects to the archivist, and from place to process. At the heart of this archival turn is a fundamental skepticism of Modernity’s scientific methodologies.
Research has shifted from the objective recording of static and isolated objects to focus instead upon the curatorial power, and the cultural and historical embeddedness of the archivist. This turn has illuminated the inescapable fingerprint of archivist in the formation of the archive, human memory and ultimately history itself. As a result, layers of contexts, presuppositions, and the embedded power relationships between the archivist and archive come to the fore.
With two trajectories in mind, I have created an archive to explore the subjectivity of human engagement with objects while emphasizing the often-overlooked physical nature of the photographic object. I have utilized traditional archive forms of drawers and artifact trays, accession numbers and acid free enclosures to both suggest Modernity’s curatorial processes of empiricism, isolation, and limited access. These methods also intend to re-establish the viewer’s awareness of the photograph’s physicality. By modifying these forms, viewers may explore the perceived stability and instability of the relationships among the artist as curator and the objects themselves. Additionally, strategies of translucent layers, white-on-white printing, and the imaging of culturally shared symbols and collective memories, allows me to create a variety of contextual lenses through which we may explore the subjectivity of our engagements with historical objects.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
During our brief visit to NYC I had to the remarkable opportunity to meet with the artist Barton Liddes Benes. I came to know his work through the UND art department and his connection to the North Dakota Museum of Art. While his work is somewhat transitioning, Barton is widely known celebrity relic pieces. Using traditional religious relic motifs, Benes transforms them with our cultures religious-like worship of celebrity. Bits of celebrity trash and other cultural oddities make their way to Barton through a vast network of friends and into his work. The diversity of relics is astounding from Frank Sinatra's fingernail to Madonna's panties, these little bits of ephemera gain importance via their provenance.