The camera looks down on a collection of things, more or less scattered, and sees stones, fishing lures, brushed aluminum disks, floor sweepings, shell fragments, a candle nibbled by a mouse, bits of string, plastic, wire, cardboard, dust. These things are separated from one another by sheets of glass stacked like shelves, inflecting the objects’ distance from one another and their distance from the camera lens. This arrangement is enclosed on all sides by a black duvetyn curtain with a variable slit to control illumination, a dark chamber (not unlike the camera body) equipped with a crude aperture.
To inscribe an image on the camera’s digital sensor, light must pass through the slit in the duvetyn enclosure and make contact with the scattered specimens, which then scatter the light outward and upward towards the lens where it is collected, condensed and projected backwards and upside down onto the sensor. When light hits a speck of dust at just the right angle the lens stutters — and sees itself: the glittering speck takes on the flared form of the lens aperture. The screenings, refractions, and other resistances that light rays meet on their path to the image sensor—while seeming obstacles to vision—are in fact re-stagings of the photographic process in its most elemental form. Objects resist light in order to become image.
In the étalage downstairs: One-Words (2012)
On view July 23-October 9, 2022