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My practice consists of photographing the mundane world then hand manipulating images with unorthodox techniques. In general, the ‘everyday’ is transformed into a dystopian world. The method of manipulation is primarily destroying the photograph while simultaneously creating unique pieces.

Through mass photography, images have become less of a treasured object kept in boxes. My work intents to once again provoke engagement towards photography through the unpredictable manipulation and will continue to do so.

The intent is for the photograph to feel physically there; supported by using material staining, textures and layering with resin. The resin creates a physical depth not seen in standard photography, drawing the audience into the piece, and further creating a feeling of embodiment; giving the piece its own structure and weight despite it being a photograph.

My process stems from the surrealist method of automatism (Breton, 1969), to suppress the conscious; allowing the unconscious to take control of the process, thus the work then becomes unpredictable. The whole process of automatism is freedom to be creative without concern, leading to unexpected outcomes. Allowing the agency of chance to form un-replicable pieces, replacing the desire to do something with the desire to see what will happen. The outcome of chance methods is questionably out of the artist control (Brenneman, 1994), through repetition of the same methods, George Brecht names this “consciously unknown causes” (Brecht, 1966), using known techniques but with unknown outcomes.

The destructive qualities of the automatic process conceal parts of the original photograph with layers of unique surfaces and texture, that interests the viewer to look closer, because of the haptic (touch) textures. The destructive agencies of the techniques are seen as a rejection of photography but really it is a rejection on photographic norms; the typical ‘perfect’ photographs. The methodology is also a celebration of ‘failed’ photographs (blurred, light leaks) that are kept, focusing on the beauty of the imperfect, evoking wabi sabi.

The photographs are indented to convey a sense of emptiness with the comfort of everyday. Using photographs of mundane streets, paths and buildings; public places completely empty. The effect on the audience arguably inflicts contradictory feelings of unnerve and intrigue due to the ‘hyper-reality’ of the image. Using structures of the process or adding shapes of negative space to hide part of the image to provoke intrigue in not what is seen but implied.

Reference:

Brenneman, K. (1994). Chance in Art. Retrieved 18 October 2019, from https://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/course/student_projects/Kristin/Kristin.html Breton, A. (1969). Manifestoes of surrealism.