Excerpt from an interview, July 2018:
The slide works are representations of visual memory. There has always been a strong, implicit link between memory and photography; so much of my work addresses and explores this theme. The slides allow me to show many images at once. I think you can view them like contact sheets of memory. Each slide is someone’s memory. Because the slides are secured to paper, and a slide as an object needs light to animate the image, some of the memories are visible and others are not, just like some memories are remembered and some are forgotten. Presumably, these are the last surviving records (other than what the people pictured, or those present at the time remember) of these memories. The image on the slide is perhaps the last record of that memory. That’s a lot of responsibility for me as artist. I choose, in a sense, what is remembered or forgotten because the viewer of my artwork will acquire that memory. The memories that aren’t visible without light appear to be only rectangles of black plastic. Because the slide is reflective, you as the viewer are reflected in the anti-image. In other words, you, the viewer, are projected onto the memory, just as you project your own experience onto the any memory subjected – a truth of any experience. We as viewers, as consumers of art, have no choice but to experience subjectively as everything is filtered through the projection of our own experience.
I’ve long been interested in Duchamp and ready-mades. I think slides and glass-plates (daguerreotypes) can be thought of this way because they’re images but they’re also physical objects. They’re dimensional. I searched yard sales, craigslist, eBay for old slides and glass plates. I also learned how to make them, though I haven’t done much of that yet. What I found is that the memories that I was seeing on the slides were very similar to my own memories - Christmas mornings, baby pictures, days at the beach. In fact, they are not altogether dissimilar from what people post on Facebook or Instagram today. The fact that they are other people’s pictures could almost be seen as reposting. Repurposing. A lot of people question why I would even want them? To them it’s like old junk in a nostalgia shop. I think it’s a generational thing. I’m fascinated by them because to my generation an image has never been an object. To an older generation the image as object may feel like old news, but to me it’s a novelty.
I think using the design, the color of the slide is like selecting paints from a box. You’re composing it as you would compose a painting, focused more on the design, the composition, the color, than the actual image. The benefit of the slide is that you get both My father is a painter and my mother is a weaver. Growing up I was inspired by both. These works are almost a synthesis of the two, and with my interest for photography included.
They say hunting is really about the desire to have power over death because of a fear of it. If you can kill you can, for a brief moment, control another’s death, and thus death itself. I think these pieces, are, in a way, me trying to conquer my grandmother’s memory loss, her dementia – to control it by having power over what is remembered and forgotten. I think as I go through life, I realize that I can’t remember all that I want to. Life seems to become smaller, less significant, and that worries me. Like the hunter, if I can control memory in my art, maybe for a moment, I can create for myself the illusion that I control memory itself.