Christine Elfman

Fix & Fade

Fix & Fade explores the perils of nostalgia through a series of photographs occupying various states of material stability. Archival silver gelatin and pigment prints are juxtaposed with unfixable iris anthotypes to suggest the way all photographic subjects remain just out of reach. They reference the stories in which someone looks back and is turned to stone. For when the camera attempts to possess its subject, it petrifies it. Emphasizing the tension between producing imagery as a form of posterity and material's tendency towards decomposition, the works ultimately accept the impossibility of rendering anything as permanent or invariable.

The process of anthotypy offers a rare opportunity to witness the constant cycle of growth and decay, as the image is made of its own decline. The flower is picked: sacrificed in order to obtain its true albeit fugitive color, which is coated on paper.  As the color is exposed to sunlight over the course of weeks, the fading creates an image made of its own decay.  The color pales, leaving behind a shadow image of the shielding material. This photograph can never be fixed or stabilized, and continues to fade in the light of day.  The gaze of the viewer destroys the image while their memory reconstructs it. 

dimensions variable, 2014


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