Focus Gallery One: The Skin of Memory
January 8 - February 20, 2016
Memory is a developer, not a fixer. As an artist and photographer, I push against the limits of the photographic medium to reflect reality. I aim to walk the edge between the factual and the unseen. Facing the impossibility of capturing moments that have already happened, I explore memory through experimental processes that bring to fore past experiences through photographic representations of the memory that shaped them. My recent work has included embroidery, ripping and tears as markmaking on photographs printed on paper, fabric and stretchy materials that distort features (and identities) to reveal hidden truths.
My most current project, The Skin of Memory, features images that resemble drawings or intaglio prints, but are photographs. To create them I use mordançage, an experimental acid-bath process of traditional black and white photographs in which dark areas of gelatin silver emulsion separate and lift from the paper to create veils and tears. From a reproducible silver gelatin print thus emerges an altered, irreproducible, unpredictable image. This process visualizes how memories shift, deteriorate and develop to reveal a hidden subplot, a new layer of reality beyond the lens capture that time, regret, experience have pulled. The changed structure of the photographs, with different centers of light and newly emerged areas of darkness, aim to speak for human vulnerability in the face of memory shaping the present. – Ellie Ivanova