MemoryScapes

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As digital photography became more and more the ruling option for photographic work, I started to wonder what I would do with all of the accumulated slide carousels and negative sleeves in my studio. Each time I flipped through a notebook or loaded a set of slides, I found myself rolling backwards in time. The passing images were a landscape of my past, of the places I had been, and the sensation of being in that place.

I started loading images into photoshop – mixing scans with new images as I traveled to new places – and mixing specific places up in a kaleidoscope of translucent fragments that create more of an impression, a poem, than a linear narrative. Taking off from the visual patterns of the documentary projects, I played with the story below the surface and the collage of images on the surface.

MemoryScape 01 & 02 North Carolina

These memoryscapes are created from North Carolina photos. The first was comes from a trip to Smithfield, N.C., where I visited the Ava Gardner Museum (lower right Ms. Gardner), and saw The Last Resort bar on the way home. I wanted to capture the mix of feelings, of the bar, of the glamour, and the background sensation of cotton and Piedmont blues.

Memoryscape 02 is drawn from photos of the Buckhorn Flea Market near Mebane, N.C. I began going there to photograph Hispanic families and found a cauldron of different cultural groups all stretched out in rows of sellers with tables full of food and “stuff”, and an equally eclectic mix of shoppers.

MemoryScape 03, 04, 05, 06

This set of MemoryScapes are my version of the Toronto Caribana Festival, a city-wide, week-long event that involves contests, parades, music and food. To capture the way in which the festival fills the city, I created MemoryScapes set in different locations: (03) a demolition site under a bridge on the way to (04) the send off at the parade grounds, (05) a alley-way mural commemorating an anarchist hero, and (06) the shop windows on Bloor Street.

MemoryScape 07, 08, 09

The three Memoryscapes from Buenos Aires each touch on a different aspect of the city. The Boca Stadium (07), famous as the home of Boca, the team of “el pueblo” (the people), merges with the street demonstrations with marchers and drummers, and the guachos (cowboys) who compete in a ring catch every Sunday in the old stockyard district. The next (08) is a tribute to Carlos Gardel, credited with bringing the tango from the brothels to popular culture. The mandala centers on the tomb of Gardel, surrounded by tango shoes and painted by dancers moving in the counter-clockwise circle of the dance.

The third MemoryScape catches the dancers on the streets of the Boca port district known for its bright-colored metal walls.

Memoryscape 10

Varanasi at Durga Puja (10) is my version of the immensity of the Ganges, the Temples and the worshipers on its banks during the festival of the Durga goddess, a goddess of multiple arms and angry moods. This work led me to the search for different textures and printing on silk. (PhotoPrintsOnFabric link)