Keepsakes of Strangers
In my photographs, I celebrate commonplace objects that are often overlooked. After abandoning many small things that I once cared about, I now collect keepsakes and tools that other people have left behind. These items carry marks of longtime use--scratches, residue, grime. Though they belonged to strangers, each one I choose hints at something in my own experience. Drawing from historical approaches to Surrealist assemblage, I create imaginary moments, temporary arrangements that exist only for the purpose of being photographed. I aim to suggest a variety of experiences, some whimsical and some mysterious. A single image may evoke overlaid memories of childhood and adulthood.
In accord with my theme of impermanence, the elements are precariously placed, the pieces held together only by friction and gravity. In addition, my light source is transitory. Reflecting window light onto my subjects from a handheld mirror, and triggering the camera by voice command, I capture an image that is unrepeatable. Through my juxtapositions, lighting and framing, my collection of objects is transformed, existing briefly in a world of its own.
My photographs in Restorations show fragile domestic objects that have been shattered and are now tenuously held together. The objects seem commonplace, yet the efforts to preserve them suggest a greater significance. The tags, coded to reflect color, weight and date, further this impression. The narrative to explain the damage and the attempted repairs is left for the viewer to imagine.
In creating this work, I served as would-be restorer as well as photographer. I intend the images to suggest our own vulnerabilities. They speak of human frailty and resilience.