palimpsest

Palimpsest is a series of silver gelatin prints that questions how human bodies interact with urban spaces and feelings of anonymity and transience within cities. The prints formally express a relationship between geometric and organic shapes both in the visual parallels—fire escapes and arms, plywood construction walls and the human womb—and also in the photographic process. At the enlarger, I stack several negatives on top of one another to project a single image, individual frames slipping into the negative space of the ones above and below. These layered photographs create a visual palimpsest, able to be read both by looking at the projection as a whole and by isolating its components. Like these palimpsests, my experience living in cities has been shaped by the feeling of slipping between stories of all the unnamed, unknown people surrounding me in a place where nothing is grounded, narratives always in flux as humans move and change. 

 

A subseries within this selection is Parallax, consisting of the first and last images. These are digital overlays of silver gelatin negative scans using a similar collaging method as in Palimpsest. With this subseries, however, I left some scans in their negative state and rendered others positive. Each photograph uses three images: two bodies that are eerily similar but not identical and one architectural space. This expands on the original Palimpsest series to use digital inversions and reflections, crossing into Gothic themes and the idea of the doppelgänger. Rather than simply being anonymous within urban spaces, there is something sinister and unnerving in the mirrored bodies, an act of something becoming other than oneself, a new parallax bound in steel and concrete.