As I watch my aging mother slip away unable to recall something that happened just moments before, I can clearly see the confusion in her eyes. In reflections of my own aging image, I can’t help but see my mother’s genetic influence. Ultimately, I fear that I, too, will be unable to remember my own existence.
In these found 19th century portraits, I see a glimpse of myself. These once living individuals are now lost and forgotten. The images in this series have been manipulated to include the hair or eyes of my own genetic family members, as well as the imposed imperfections left by time. The juxtaposition of these contemporary elements heightens the rigidness of the original portraits. The images appear to be fleeting yet they are grounded and illogical.
For years, I have been intrigued in the conceptual paradox of “the digital one of a kind.”
The images influenced by the antiquated 19th century photographic processes are tarnished, aged and imperfect. While the constructed images first appear to be that of passing moments, the waxed encaustic technique makes a futile attempt to preserve and halt the progression of time. Once covered in wax the prints become transparent and ethereal while heightening the sense of the print as an object. The prints are attached to the wall only by steel corners allowing ambient light to illuminate the images from behind. This installation forces the viewer to question the reality of what they see and, perhaps, consider the fragile illusion of memory.