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Visual Anonymity

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Somewhere between temporality and the popular belief in permanence in photography lies the crux of my prolonged interest in picture-taking. Conscious of an assumed truth in photos, I often look to engage the way in which we reason with visual language. For instance, by employing found images of people (from Google, an evolving yet seemingly permanent archive) as an accompaniment to something as transitory as an egg, I hope to directly address photographic verisimilitude, the fragmentation of the image, and viewer reconciliation. These images are shells offering a photographic representation not to be confused with the physicality of subjects.

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The series, Untitled Phenomenon, is just one example of a personal initiative towards the ideas of constructed imagery and developing anonymity within the frame. In an attempt to draw conclusions from the arrangements depicted, answers form yet fall apart. The photographer, Joan Fontcuberta, occupied his early practice with themes of fabrication seeking to poke fun at the erroneous union of truth and photographic document. His Fauna series is a direct example of this early concern and a point of reference for Untitled Phenomena, Glass Walls and Celestial Forms. In all three series, the subjects never rise to plausibility as witnessable events. Instead, we are left to assess the photographic remains. The images are tangible in ways their subjects can never be, perhaps rendering the subjects weightless with respect to fact.

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I find that objectifying elements within the photograph has been the clearest way of developing both their immediate history and pictorial presence. Paul Strand in 1917 wrote of photographic objectivity, “the objects may be organized to express the causes of which they are the effects, or they may be used as abstract forms, to create an emotion unrelated to the objectivity as such.” This oscillation between an interest in the run-up to an event and its spectacle is the primary vehicle for these works. It engenders a relationship between the finite and infinite, the egg and the image. Needless to say, it has never been about an objective truth but rather about a photographic elasticity.

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-Weston Lyon, 2012

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