Food is common in my photography, videos, and installations. This is because I am keen to explore how we consume images. To this end, investigations into photographic function--whether it be as documentation, advertisement, illusion, digital data, or reproduction--take precedence over personal expression. Our interactions with photography, my background in theatre arts, and the still life genre particularly inform my work.
My current project Wolfcamp Catalogue focuses on the oil industry of the Permian Basin in West Texas, the most lucrative oil field in the world. The catalogue features products like badges, flags, t-shirts imprinted with texts along with present and historic scenes and objects from the Permian Basin. Visualizing the unrelenting development of the area, its ecological implications, and the population’s attitudes of American and West Texas pride, Wolfcamp Catalogue is a self-published book and will be adaptable into a gallery installation. I present an array of photographic functions: documentation, our consumption of images, and advertisement photography.
Wolfcamp Catalogue is built upon previous bodies of works. My ongoing web- and installation-based project Photo Expo (2018) extends photography’s experiential value by adapting an industry trade convention to a gallery space. Viewers, for example, were able to eat images printed on a cake or step on images. In No Windows (2017), working against the classic assumption of linking a picture frame to a window to the world, I produced nine-hundred still life images very quickly grabbing objects in reach and photographing them. I utilized this method in order to challenge the tradition of iconography prevalent in works of still life; In my opinion, meaning in artwork is to be experienced with our senses rather than interpreted formulaically or per tradition. Presenting foodstuff and common objects in heightened compositions, my still life series, Suspension of Disbelief (2015-2017), draws parallels between our viewing experience of staged theatre and the visual experience of illusion.
I enjoy playing with multiple facets of photography, and I want my works to encourage the viewers to share in this pleasure--Is this straightforward or manipulated? Document or art? A photographic experience, as I see it is like biting into a piece of cake. I want us to see, savor, swallow, smile from our consumption, be it embodied, experiential, quick or, over-indulging.