Darkness Above Light Below was realized and presented in May 2019 at Fusion Gallery AIR Inaudita, Torino, Italia
Voice Outside the Field is a series of binary artworks developed from “failed” images of New York City’s small urban gardens, where overexposure or insufficient chemistry resulted in material corrosion and the value of the photograph as a visual record of a time and place. Paradoxically, the agency of light required to produce photos also destroys them, and whereas ordinarily black would represent a lack of information, the voids become white. Through these emptied pictorial spaces I render by hand not a literal representation of the lost landscapes, but the memory of how my eye experienced and moved through those dynamic spaces of hallucinatory light, shadow, life, and time.
The original photographs are small, direct positive 3x4” Polaroid images that are hand-drawn over in pencil, then rephotographed and enlarged, reworked in pencil and rephotographed again. Each step alternates the creation of empty spaces with the filling of them, the expansion through enlargement is stepping closer to and into the image, producing a passage to new territories previously hidden. The result is a large scale rendering of a landscape and a new photographic representation, an inversion of the drawing that creates a correlation where both documents differently interpret the same scene. These artworks leave entirely behind the original 3x4” image source they were born from to produce new highly perceptual images of fluctuating landscapes.
The title of the series, Voice Outside the Field, is a reflection on an abstracted voice, a narrator that is both a part of a scene and outside it. It is at liberty to shape our understanding of the world, and without a specific form of its own, it may develop and reshape itself at will, inhabiting a virtually unlimited number of imaginative states. This freedom of vision and voice embraces all associations, connections, and contraries as equally valid, animating the world into a place where the material world is conscious itself and autonomous, but also dependent on our mental, emotional and physical relationship to it.
The poetry and writing of William Blake became touchstones and meditations on the long journey through frequenting the gardens and their photographic documentation, the years of being and seeing, translated into chimeric, romantic, and chaotic images. Blake’s poetry emphasizes the importance of the power and gifts of imaginative vision, the natural world, contradictions and their connections as being inherent to a greater understanding of our existence.