photography Tag

While an Artist in Residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock this summer, I continued to work on the series Memories: No Instructions for Assembly. This series which has morphed into six evolving iterations - IIIIIIIVV, and VI is born from my family's experience with displacement and loss. There is limited photographic evidence that my family ever existed. Photographs were lost when we were unlawfully removed from our home in 1998. Some photographs were water-damaged or accidentally trashed before we packed seven lives and accompanying articles into a burgundy station wagon and made our home in a 450-square foot illegal attachment where my grandfather died, alone, nine years prior of stomach cancer. An attempt to conjure my family back into existence, in Memories: No Instructions for Assembly, I weave together orphaned photographs found at garage sales, photos stolen from the Facebook pages of estranged family members, magazine pages, water-damaged images salvaged during my family's 10-year bout with homelessness, and original photography to re-imagine a lost family history. Working in the tradition of the archaeologist and the archivist, I sample as well as reorganize existing materials into a series of images to produce a non-linear narrative that dances between vivid and vague memories. 
As I worked through this series, I kept a daily process journal using instagram and tumblr. I attempted to repurpose these social media tools to create an archive of my discovery, research, and difficulties. My work is an excavation of memories. As an art of excavation, I am concerned with making both my process and product visible. My process journal In many cases, my process notes functioned as product -- final pieces. 

Every now and again, as I walk around these not-so-pristine streets, my eye will catch something small, some strange forgotten detail on a building facade and it will tell me to record it in some way, sketch or otherwise, in order for it not to be forgotten entirely.  Other times, my forehead opens up and things fall out and I'll need a place to catch them.Most often though, the idle thoughts that pass through typically revolve around or revolve in some kind of environment, not necessarily a building, maybe a set of buildings, or a wilderness, none of which exist in the proper sense, and therefore need to find space on a notebook page.  The design process that has sort of formed itself within me over the years took a narrative turn while I was working on my master's degree.  The sense that buildings and environments needed to be created through the positivist flow seemed to be too limited and cold for my tastes and the only way to find new opportunities in design would be to come at it from the other side. Or from underneath, as the case may be.  This lead me towards intuition, accident, error, and then eventually to poetry, though I far from consider myself to be any kind of poet.

[caption id="attachment_1555" align="alignleft" width="493" caption="Angela Vorsteg Norris Miss Subways March 1950"][/caption] If you're not from around here, you may not know that Meet Miss Subways is more than a Ferlinghetti poem. And, as such, you may not know that "Miss Subways was a title accorded to individual New York City women between 1941 and 1976. The woman who was "Miss Subways" at any one time appeared on posters placed on New York City Subway trains, along with a brief description of her. The program was run by the ad agency "New York Subways Advertising". To be eligible, a woman had to be a New York City resident and herself use the subway. Winners were usually chosen by telephone-based voting, from among a group of contenders whose photos were all placed on the subways; the nominees were chosen by John Robert Powers, a modelling agent." {thank you, Wikipedia!} I'm a sucker for New York memorabilia, and photographic projects examining identity, place, and culture, so when I happened upon Fiona Gardner's series -- in which she documents, via striking, technicolor-esque present day portraits and tells the stories of former "Miss Subways," alongside the now-dated newspaper clippings introducing these "girls" to an adoring city -- I immediately rang her (um, or, since it's not 1960, I messaged her on facebook, where I found her through our mutual friend, painter and herbalist Michael Viola).

f
1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680 chapterone@qodeinteractive.com
Free shipping
for orders over 50%