Since the first photograph, photography has ushered forth in producing a consequential depiction of truths through the containment of fleeting moments in a tangible and archival format. Instances in time are revealed as light falls upon sensitized paper, asserting the presence of each photograph’s content. The picture plane remains uniform, constricted by its own variable, physical dimensions: a synthetic simulacrum of a three-dimensional reality that will forever remain in constant flux. And yet, in spite of presenting elements of proof based within reality, the upheaval of the actual authenticity of the photograph has found itself under siege.
Through a variety of executions, the following artists working with the photographic medium twist this truism in unique and awe-inspiring ways, abolishing preconceived notions of photography through a re-presentation of the photograph. In their reconsideration of the ordinarily static picture plane, form is pushed beyond the confines of the image through the destruction, manipulation or interference of the photograph.
Embellishing each photograph with a starkly contrasting three-dimensional material, Joseph Heidecker carefully decorates each photograph by hand, creating a humorous contrast to his subject’s routinely disinterested gazes. Through Heidecker’s ornately strewn manipulation, each subject is afforded a complimentary reality to exist within, consequently re-presenting themselves through the permanence of Heidecker’s embedded and alternative masks.
Los Angeles-based photographer Matthew Brandt routinely utilizes his photograph’s natural surroundings as an actively engaged medium. Through his work’s ritual emulsion into a concoction of water gathered from the site of the photograph, the process yields a decomposition that seems to parallel the destructive corrosion of the natural world. In introducing the man-made medium to the earth’s own naturally occurring chemistry, Brandt distorts preconceived conceptions of what constitutes the material and the subject.
Los Angeles-based artist Soo Kim uses techniques inclusive of meticulously detailed cutting and subsequent layering within her compositions. Creating a negative space within the photograph, Kim perpetuates the idea of disruption while interpreting a photograph, placing an emphasis on seemingly insignificant details that might otherwise be overlooked if left as a whole. The disorienting complexity of Kim’s attention to detail introduces a gradually moving space that affords the viewer adequate time to digest them.
Creating a dichotomy in the relationship between the photographic process and the subject at hand, artist Nelson Crespo makes use of not only his own photography, but found images and objects accompanied by an exploration into varying media such as collage, print, and drawing. Through the often seamless merger of varying sources, Crespo confronts “notions of representation informed by the historical and socio-political nature of printed imagery”.
With a focus on abstracted materiality, photographer Eileen Quinlan creates a world comprised of fractals and shadows. Moving through works that fluctuate between an often puzzling arrangement of high saturation and contrasting de-saturation, Quinlan’s abstractions function as both a photograph, as well as a still life. Gritty and analytical, the mysterious nature of Quinlan’s indistinguishable objects remains intensely captivating through their continuous use of light and texture.