The decline of traditional darkroom practice has led me to consider the nature of photographic materials in ways I hadn’t previously imagined.
The dwindling availability of the basics of darkroom craft–film, chemistry and paper–has prompted me to consider, “What makes a photograph, photographic?”
Using scavenged, collected and donated photo paper, I pursue this question in The After Life of Things from the perspective of creating fresh work from material otherwise thought to be useless.
Exploring the hidden qualities of expired photo papers, the project draws a parallel between discarded things and discontinued photo papers as found objects.
The color shifts, fogging and stains characteristic of these outdated papers become an intrinsic part of the printed image, and set the material parameters I work with in the darkroom.
Equally telling is imagery made directly from unexposed, expired paper without the use of a negative or projected light. Not only does this process uniquely isolate the effects of time on aging paper, but also can result in surprising parallels to aspects of Modernist and contemporary painting.