In his series “tautochronos”, German artist Michel Lamoller takes multiple photographs of the same place at different times, then prints and layers them, physically carving them into one image, sculpting two-dimensional space into three-dimensions. By then photographing the transformed image Lamoller returns the work to two-dimensions, playing with space and volume, echoing the compression of time and place in his work. The deconstructed figures in the resulting photographs are a visual reminder that people are always changing and never fully revealed.
People often speak of ghosts, and that’s what these photographs bring to mind—the pieces left behind when time passes and things change. It’s almost archeological, the parts covered, the parts revealed. The remains remain, an artifact of time passed.
The photos that are mainly figural express the changes in an individual over time. Clothed, naked. Smiling, serious. Button-down, t-shirt. They are a literal portrait of days.
The images that integrate a figure into the environment are more evocative. In one image, a woman seems to be decomposing, dissolving into grass and trees. Another figure blends into a brick building, almost indecipherable. One person’s body seems to be fossilizing as cobblestones stretch up his legs like moss. A book-lined wall is interrupted by fragmented pieces of a man’s face. Are the pieces so small because the impact of the person in the space was so inconsequential?
The word tautochronos is made of two Greek parts: tauto from the combining form meaning same, chronos meaning time. In combining different moments in the same place Lamoller has stopped time.
Nearly 10 years ago, photographer Rachel Sussman began researching with biologists and traveling world to document forms of natural life that are at least 2,000 years old for her project titled “The Oldest Living Things in the World.” Part art, part science, Sussman’s project engages with the natural world in order to capture a brief moment in the organisms’ millenia-old lives; her photographs ask viewers to consider their own lives alongside these natural ones, some on the verge of extinction. Each of her photographs includes text below the image describing the subject, its location, and its age. In the preface to her project’s book, Sussman writes,
“What does it mean when the organic goes head-to-head with the geologic? We start talking about deep time and the quotidian in the same breath, along with all the strata in between. All of these organisms are living palimpsests: they contain myriad layers of their own histories within themselves, along with records of natural and human events; new chapters written over the old, year after year, millennium after millennium. When we look at them in the frame of deep time, a bigger picture emerges, and we start to see how all of the individuals have stories, and that all of those stories are in turn interconnected — and in turn, inextricably connected to us all.
The oldest living things in the world are a record and celebration of the past, a call to action in the present, and a barometer of our future.”
Alicia Eggert creates kinetic, electronic, and interactive sculpture and installation work. With a background in interior and architectural design, Eggert builds her work with a temporal conception reflected in the stillness and movement of her pieces. Implementing a variety of objects in her designs, such as clocks, flashing LED text, a perpetually spinning bicycle wheel, and re-usable ceramic coffee cups that shatter down a perceived assembly line, Eggert uses simple ideas to convey a world of depth. Some of her work is created in collaboration with other artists, as she values sharing the creative experience with another person. She currently lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches sculpture and architecture at Bowdoin College.
Phillip Toledano is a photographer in every sense of the word, with an oeuvre that speaks incredible amounts about his interest and character. After our post recently about Nick Minton, I realized we hadn’t posted Toledano’s beautiful series titled ‘Days with My Father‘, which is also an incredible book. The project follows Toledano’s time spent with his father, and is chronicled with heart-warming/breaking words that bring the whole series to life. Please, take a moment out of your day to experience this series.