Images of Images is a new series of photographs that entails an intimate and exacting examination of pre-existing photographic material. My images of images consider the metaphysical questions that arise when looking at portraits that required stillness and cooperation of those who are now long since dead. At the same time, my images catalog the material changes that time has wrought on the photographic object in the intervening period. The series seeks to illuminate, as Gregory Batchen has written, “photography’s peculiar articulation of time—the way photography simultaneously conjures past, present, and future in a single image form.” My source materials range from photography’s earliest forms, such as the daguerreotype, in which the silver plate, despite it’s durability, is still a biologically active surface, to news photographs and hand-painted studio portraits, in which the surface interventions were a deliberate and carefully controlled part of the process of creating an image.
In my still photography I’ve implicitly questioned what it is about static images that can both hold our gaze and initiate a chain of thought and speculation about what’s taking place within the moment being depicted. This has led me, in my moving image work, to examine the ways in which the introduction of time and movement can specifically alter and enhance our speculation about what has just taken place or is about to occur, the “before” and “after” of the moments depicted. The observational portraits I’ve created in my recent time-based work depict individuals who are observed and mapped over time, coinciding with apparent trains of thought. These moments of self-reflection and absorptive, private thought yield images that encompass both duration and stillness. With Images of Images I’m seeking something similar in the still image: an encounter with a human presence that conveys a sense of an ongoing moment.