Half Dome, 2010
Paper, foam, spackle, paint, 96" x 24" x 2"
Critiquing the perception of our world under the influence of the photographic image and its effect on the originality of experience and vision, my current work disassembles and reconstructs iconic nineteenth century photographs, specifically the images of natural National Monuments that reside in Yosemite National Park. The creation of Yosemite National Park was facilitated by the photography of Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, and William Henry Jackson. The distribution of these photographers’ iconic images of the natural wonders of The West became synonymous with the forms themselves. Subsequently, these historic images have influenced how we photograph landscapes and the monuments within National Parks. My reconstructions attempt to achieve what a photograph often fails to do: create an embodied, physical relationship between the viewer and the image.
These pieces take on the form of a depiction of nature as seen originally through a lens, but without any secure grounding. The arrangement of the work compresses the perspectival space and simultaneously creates space in the form of a sculptural relief. The physicality within my works is important in referring back to the original site’s topographical structure in all dimensions.
Throughout all of my pieces I am attempting to insert the qualities that are negated within a photograph: tactility, physicality and a visceral relationship between the viewer and the landscape. In these reconstructions I am pointing to the constrictions photography places on our perception of these culturally relevant mountainous structures. Creating an imaginative and primary experience, this work counteracts what has become a predictable or homogenous experience of the original photograph.