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01 







Spring 2020





Artist Statement:


   My photographs portray states of becoming and un-becoming with respect to identity. The aim of this project is to soften the rigid structures we impose on ourselves that prevent growth and openness to change - to convey that identity is a state of flux rather than a fixed mode of being. As I emerged from a paralyzing stint of anxiety in which I felt identity-less, I turned to self-portraiture to enact what I sought in real life within the stage of the photograph. By confronting this resulting collection of photos, I am able to relive a cycle of rest and immaterial transformation -- a reminder that there is no single, permanent self.
    Self-portraiture comes with two repercussions; first is the threat of being called a narcissist, and second is the contingency of what type of body is being represented. This comes with pre-scripted connotations based on age, race, gender, and other visual factors. While taking these photos, I had to accept several of these issues, but I also tried to surpass a few of them by denying the viewer the image of my face, a sexualized view of my body, or -- in some cases -- a clear understanding of the body at all, in order to offer up these images to others as a depersonalized mirror for self-reflection.
 













Echo I, Vandyke brown print, 5.6x6.9cm print on 8x10in watercolor paper
Untitled, Vandyke brown print, 5.6x6.9cm print on 8x10in watercolor paper
Echo II, Vandyke brown print, 5.6x6.9cm print on 8x10in watercolor paper
Untitled, Vandyke brown print, 5.6x6.9cm print on 8x10in watercolor paper




Untitled, Vandyke brown print, 5.6x6.9cm print on 8x10in watercolor paper
Untitled, Vandyke brown print, 5.6x6.9cm print on 8x10in watercolor paper
Moment of Sublimation, Vandyke brown print, 5.6x6.9cm print on 8x10in watercolor paper
Untitled, Vandyke brown print, 5.6x6.9cm print on 8x10in watercolor paper








It is hard to know where photography’s characteristic of realism starts and ends in objectivity. It has been hammered again and again, this fervent debate of the photograph - art or science? 

If one category of photography were to be the most accurate translation of reality, I would offer up color positive film. I am not saying this matters in the slightest. However, when using transparencies a photographer’s creative decisions can remain mainly in-camera. The film itself, once developed, can be simply displayed on a lightbox or projected, and further manipulations and further abstractions of the image are rendered unnecessary. 





Over the Summer of 2018, I photographed 43 rolls of film throughout several backpacking trips, a road trip that carved a circle through Colorado, and miscellaneous human places in which I discovered symbols of nature.  

I waited to develop the film for three months. My intention was to help parse out the conceptual distinctions (if there were any) between humans and nature. 

What I discovered was fragmentation, distortion, alienation, and a barrage of signs in the social world that represent nature but leave it out in its true form. Although fraught with its own critiques, when I felt more immersed in nature I couldn’t help but notice feelings of wholeness. 

This project was aided by the Miller Arts Scholars Rising 3rd Year Grant that I was awarded in May of 2018. 
    



A selection of stand-alone photos from the beginning of my relationship with photography: cyanotypes, silver gelatin, and color negatives printed digitally from 2017 to 2018. 







Mark
© Anna Warner Photography. All Rights Reserved
alw8er@virginia.edu