The "Movie Portraits" are a result of my most recent experiments with photographic processes used at the event of its invention in the 1830s; stereoscopy, cyanotypes, light experiments. I am a photographic purist and as such, digital imagery holds no interest for me. I prefer the "real to the imagined – grain to the pixel". Consequently these portraits involve no more than raw light and a ten-minute exposure, which the subject endures in much the same way the first photographic portraits were made. The main difference is that my subjects do not have headrests as were used 150 years ago to keep them still. They sit and contemplate the event with a talisman of their choice; still versus the need to breathe. Given the amount of time the sitter bequeaths the lens, this record becomes as much a collective memory for us as much as it becomes a single-frame short movie of the event. Interestingly for me, these images are the most painterly of all my productions given the nature of the approach of a collective time represented in each photograph.
Similarly, as with photographs, I have found that even when the subject has moved during the sitting, which is clearly the case, once encapsulated, their chance movements forever remain frozen in time – traced by the embalming process of the negative provided by the camera.
Like the photograph they are a record of a conjunction of events, but by the very nature of their specific construction, each piece is rendered as more of a movie rather than a specific image... I'm now thinking of our collective memory of the initial event which we recorded.
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