HOW NOT TO
Chemigrams on silver gelatine paper, 20 x 30 cm
This project misuses photographic paper and processes to explore some senses of a “not”: not doing, not printing, not making, and end up with a collection of traces that speak of failures and absences. It is a way to take full advantage not only of the literal but also the metaphorical and poetic sensitivity of the photographic paper, its openness to light, its response to exposure as darkness, the play of transparency and opaqueness on its surface, and the ambiguous, unreadable images that result. For traditional photographic purposes, the paper is rendered unusable by being taken out into the light, and yet in this process something emerges that would be inaccessible when it is used correctly.
The project is a way to pose some questions that have to do with “nothing” as a form of practice, looking for the edges of visibility and discovering how to see light as a source of obscurity and resistance. It is a search for light not as illumination but as a hiding place for secrets, a way to staying in the dark, remaining opaque, impenetrable, not showing and not participating. The hope of the images is to look beyond the clear and the obvious to the obscure and unseen, to illuminate the seen with shadows and populate the visible with absent ghosts.