Location: Brattleboro, Vermont, United States
NOW IS ALWAYS
Collaborating Across Time
This work began during the Great Depression when my father took some photos near his father's drugstore in Philadelphia. Nearly 90 years later, I was given his negatives, which I then combined with my own images. NOW IS ALWAYS is our collaboration across time.
My father lived in Philly his entire life. His images of friends and neighbors are rooted in one place and time. My images are less rooted. This is probably because I was mostly on my own after my parents died—my father when I was five; my mother when I was 15. After that, I was rarely in one place for very long. Often the view out a car or train window felt more like home than wherever I was living. Over time, I've developed a kinship with blurred bridges and the husks of industrial towns racing by at two or three in the morning. In this work, my father's life becomes part of these landscapes—our shared and evanescent homes.
In NOW IS ALWAYS, I want to create a sense of collapsed-yet-expanded time. Yes, I want to see what my father saw, and yes, I want him to see what I see—but I also want the viewer to look at the past, and I want the past to look right back. I want viewer and subject to feel each other’s gaze. By combining images taken almost a century apart, I also want to integrate layers of technology and image-making history: his 1930’s point-and-shoot, my iPhone, his silver-gelatin negatives, my Photoshop files, and the traditions of ink, elbow grease, and an intaglio press.