Long Distance, Le Murate, Firenze Italy, April 9 - 25 2015
This work comes from a collaboration with the Archivio Fotografico del Museo di Antropologia Firenze, where (problematically) “The Other” of the 19th century remains archived in approximately 40,000 photographs of minority cultures, catalogued and organized by type and location. The beautiful images clash with the context in which they were taken, leaving anyone who looks, over a hundred years later, extremely aware of a problematic positioning with both subject and photographer. 40,000 Ombre (40,000 Shadows) attempts to navigate this third gaze, transferring thirteen of the photographic negatives to painted positives, handling, projecting, and enlarging these identities into the same realm in which the viewer resides.
The paintings and resulting shadows portray the thirteen images in a light and context beyond their original construction, still changing within the finished forms. The gazes depicted are heightened by an ignorance of the photographic device used to capture their likeness, while an alternate viewing space nullifies the power and distance a camera normally provides. To look is to step within the realm of this honest, searching gaze, aware that the identities, however archived, possess shadows as present and telling as our own.