- Project Space
Featuring John Steck Jr.
Evoking themes of ephemerality, physicality, materiality, fragility, and mortality, Turning Memory features photographs from the artist’s series Lament (Disappearing photographs). The exhibition also includes two exposure boxes where the images are created during the span of the exhibition, punctuating our need to permanently document and hold a moment longer.
By allowing images to slowly disappear, Steck Jr. calls attention to the medium of photography and its ability to capture memories. Photography is seemingly forever, yet whether physical or digital, the medium remains as impermanent as the moment depicted in its frame.
By manipulating the image-making process of particular images from his archive, he negates the archival function of them. Using gelatin silver paper, but with a non-traditional approach, these images are created without a darkroom or chemicals. Because of this process, the images remain sensitive to light; and, in a fairly short, yet unpredictable amount of time, they will disappear completely. The photographs will shift and change the same way that we change as physical beings. The artist uses this fading process to alter his memories of particular images that he finds disruptive, both visually and internally, due to sensitive memories. These images relate to moments of loss, nostalgia, fondness, and love. This concept has taken on a new meaning for this series and leaves us to consider the fleeting impermanence of materials, objects, images, and life itself, through a medium that is meant to act as a time capsule.