By Dan Kennedy
11 May 2009
Through the use of an antiquated palette and various photographic processes I hope to create a sense of timelessness. These photographs endeavor to personify abstract emotions in the amorphous amalgamation of bodies. By illustrating these figures merging together, falling, writhing both arbitrarily and in patterns the photographs strive to create a sense of chaos. Ultimately this conceptual work attempts to create a metaphorical representation of human interaction.
The series is concerned with the creation of various perfect instances, not Henri Cartier-Bresson's (1908-2004) one decisive moment, but multitudes contained within a single frame. This aspect of the work relates to the human linear perception of time. These amalgamations are alluding to different views of time, most obviously the camera's. This mechanical perception can possibly come to allude to some sort of greater, humanly incomprehensible, divine truth. The photographs do not show the typical photographed moment, nor do they attempt to rationalize a set movement through multiple exposures as Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) and Étienne-Jules Marey's (1830-1904) photographic studies of linear movement accomplished. Although similarly composed, and certainly referenced, the pieces also hope to strive away from Marcel Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase" not in their execution as much as in their sequential sense. They depict an order to the movements that is chronologically ambiguous. They attempt to de-rationalize time.
While the underlying concept and palette of this series relates to Futurist, Romantic, and Renaissance painting the photographs themselves are executed in a variety of different methods that span the entire history of photography. The Ambrotype and palladium print processes reference the origins of photography and date back to the mid 19th century. The use of C-prints and digital images reference a modern time period. In the words of the father of modern photojournalism, Cartier-Bresson, "There's no new ideas in the world, there is only a new arrangement of things. Everything is new, every minute is new." The ideas of my work were surely conceived far before artists like Duchamp, Muybridge, or Marey ever touched upon them. Subsequently I am even further away from the origin of these concepts. Science, through photography, has already made sense of time and the order of linear movement. My work is possible because of what has come before, but its purpose is to question the very concept of "before".