The images in this body of work are hybrids of ink painting and photography on mylar. The ink image is completed first and then a photograph, selected by memory from an archive of my own photographs, is collaged over the painted ink surface, covering part of the image.
The conjunction of the ink painting and the photograph functions as a hinged space that opens awareness differently than when using each medium separately. I use the hybrid form to enlarge the expressive possibilities of both media while exploring and altering the codes of representation and the contextual reading of each. Each medium is generated by a different kind of thinking, perception, and making so I use them together to transform them both.
Photography, unlike painting, is made in an instant that is both welded to, yet riven from, the time and place of its making. A painting seems to allow an experience that feels outside of, or beside, or between time. I experience the sadness of time past and objects lost whenever I look at photographs. They have a corpse-like quality that strangely affects the present as they both reveal and distort the past. I use the two media together in this body of work to bring attention to the dualism in normal consciousness and to our assumptions about the separation of “inner” and “outer” experience and the chasm we feel between. Combining the two media re-animates the photograph, an image that necessarily indexes a particular moment in time and location, and resurrects it in an accretion of painted marks, made through time yet existing outside of the specificity of time.
The links between the two media are not based on rational correspondence but rather on connections of emotion, traces of memory, and movements of imagination. The photograph breaks into or punches a hole through the painted space, thus embedding a “concrete” image in a more metaphoric space. Formal correspondences such as matching lines or extending tones from the photograph to the ink painting are left to chance. It seems that this re-animates the photograph into a new time/space relationship that pries it a little away from its origins (from the moment and place of its making) and pushes the painting a little closer to a literal, more “concrete reality” in time (instead of painting’s more usual temporal indeterminacy).The photograph becomes a little less locked to time and the painting a little more attached. Each medium nudges the other away from itself and toward the other in a somewhat uneasy relationship that implies, but doesn’t fully complete, a deeper integration. I believe this engages the imagination and allows the viewer to experience the differences in the presented time/space while discovering multiple levels of connection.
The work imagines the flow of time/space/matter/mind as a unified process and the image as a crystallization of attention within that flux. Our conceptual limits make it very difficult to describe intuitions of such a non-fragmented flow. I point in that direction by setting up a dualistic situation in the collision of the two media, but since neither medium is dominant and neither has a fixed identity (in this context), slippage occurs, suggesting the possibility of interdependence and mutual arising. Paradoxically, the uneasy coexistence of the drawing and the photograph allows for the possibility of a non-dual, integrative experience.