“… every image of the past that is not recognized by the present as one of its own concerns threatens to disappear irretrievably. (The good tidings which the historian of the past brings … may be lost in a void the very moment he opens his mouth.)”
Walter Benjamin “On the Concept of History” 1940
Bringing the "photo-graphed" past forward to be redeemed by the present; imagistic signs, formed from “photographic” material, are relics of atomized information, projections of embedded histories. They guard memory, and assume the form of "objects of protection"; icon's, votive's, totem's. ms
The new body of work are relics, fetishes, info idols, imagistic discoveries, artifacts mined from bits of memories past, from leftovers of information, frozen to face a new history, an artifact of artifacts.
If I am brought up short, I attend to that by taking a “snapshot.” I steal from anything passing by, and use it, captured, to be released in a different moment in time—re-contextualized—as a component in a painting at a later date, a dream brought forward. That inflection, that break in the action, is buried amidst other moments, relics, shared pauses in time. They are history paintings then, forming a history of histories, marks in the medium, frozen, that final capture, that closing, a document to be gazed at…and the gaze activates yet another history. It is all image construction, and what is left at the end, is a reliquary, a history of histories, a myth. Myths emerge unhindered until they enter the world of stories, where all mythic promises come to rest.
The work of any artist working today, must be strong enough to withstand the greater information hurricane it will be hurled into, for an albeit brief moment, perhaps for several hundred people to see in person, and so its weight is subject to whatever attention it can manage to achieve, having entered the miasma, the information wars, the black hole of sweeping messages vying for our capital, both financial and spiritual. Will a history presented from one perspective survive?
Building, renewing, destroying, renewing. The work is a thought experiment brought forth from photo-graphic data. Walter Benjamin, in his analysis of Baudelaire, established artists as modern observers, wringing clarity from what was hurled their way, in the explosion of mass-produced consumer goods in the 1850’s. The hurricane strength bombardment of information we face, provokes this same attention at this moment in time. From this flow of data heading our way, coupled with archived "photo-graphs", I cull those bits that stick (coding the dig), gather them together, freeze and screen.
Artworks, act as objects of protection. To support the underpinnings (financial, historical, class rooted) of that in which they have invested, collectors are assured and comforted by the market they understand has deemed an object worthy of esteem.