Toned and bleached silver gelatin prints coated with polyurethane
2005 – 2006
When I began studying photography I was taught to treat my negatives and prints in a very precious way, like gold. After many years of doing this I began to question why. Why should they be precious, why can’t I mistreat them, why can’t my hands engage with the materials and add an additional layer to the finished work. I wanted to investigate different ways to mistreat and manipulate images. I wanted to figure out new techniques to assist me in better expressing the conceptual and emotional states that I desired to convey through my photographs.
This was my first time that I used my hands to investigate the materiality of the photographic process. I had done previous work that investigated various techniques of manipulation in the image itself through props, lighting, locations, lenses, cameras, and darkroom, etc. But this was the first time that I actively manipulated the materiality of the photographic process itself through tearing, bleaching, gluing, polyurethaning, and various other constructive and destructive processes.
I wanted to test the limitations and opportunities that the techniques of the medium had to offer. While the series as a whole may not have been the most cohesive or successful series in my career, the work was a large conceptual and methodological leap forward for me into the potentiality of the medium. This work is important to me because it represents my decision to break away from the traditions I was taught and begin the process of finding my own way in the photographic world.