Topographs, 2008

 

The images in this series were created by scanning Polaroid film. Instead of exposing
and developing the film using an instant camera, the Polaroids were removed from their
cartridge and the light-sensitive chemicals were manipulated by hand and with drawing
tools.

From afar, the resulting photographic prints resemble paintings or etchings, though,
up close, they remain photographic in their crisp details and seemingly referential quality.
While the materiality of the photographic process is also the photographic subject, viewers
tend to speculate about the objects “depicted,” wondering if they could be images of real
objects such as oil spills, bodily fluids, outer space, or microscopic views of seashells,
rock formations, plant matter or chemical stains. What is confirmed is that seeing is
highly subjective; especially with an indiscernible subject, one’s attempt to perceive
the image’s content is filtered through the viewer’s experiences and perceived notions

of reality.

The title, Topographs, is meant to refer to the images’ apparent specificity, and to imply
that they might reference something beyond themselves, as do both photographs and
topographies. I have left it up to the viewer to decide what, if anything, these
‘topographs’ are mapping.

 

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