Alyssa Minahan ‘17 MFA
My work is an exploration of the liminal period in my sons' lives between boyhood and adolescence, specifically their emotional and physical independence from me as their mother. I describe this complex and layered relationship by utilizing photographic materials, including unfixed gelatin silver paper and negatives, in non-traditional ways to express ideas integral to the medium of photography and its complex relationship to time and memory.
In the Untitled (Photogram) images, I expose unfixed gelatin silver paper to varying objects and environments, creating a compression of space through the paper’s chemical reaction to light. I then scan the changing, organic object, simultaneously recording and destroying the image due to additional exposure from the scanner. In this way, each abstraction becomes a meditation on the durational period of time in which it was created.
In the Positive/Negative images, I capture the barely perceptible positive imprint of an analog or digital negative on unfixed gelatin silver paper. The impressions, of my son at age nine or clouds flowing by, will ultimately fade away. The gesture of fixing a fugitive image through photography reiterates and clarifies our use of the medium to define importance and meaning.