Helen © Keliy Anderson-Staley
“Perhaps that is what is most striking about these pictures: The people portrayed still appear to be growing into them, still seem in the process of becoming themselves. In this way, Anderson-Staley’s work transcends the undoubted curiosity value of her chosen medium. Before they are tintypes, these pictures are portraits, portraits of contemporary Americans (perhaps, even, when seen collectively, a portrait of contemporary America). As such, they raise the whole question of photographic portraiture, of what exactly can be deduced about an otherwise unknown person from a mere picture of his or her face.”
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
These are portraits of contemporary Americans, but each one is made as a unique and un-reproducible tintype image using a technology and a technique from the middle of the nineteenth century. These subjects appear as if they have been transported from an earlier and more serious time when the making of an image was a slow, difficult and rare event; when the image was a landmark in the sitter’s life and one of very few images that might ever be made of that person in their life. In our modern society the ubiquity of images, camera phones and the digital “availability” of innumerable images has inured most of us to this potential “presence” that an image of others; or even of ourselves might possess. We have suspended our wonder. The long exposures necessary to make these collodion images create a very different kind of photographic event to the spontaneous “snapshot” aesthetic to which we have now become so accustomed.
With faces that emerge from the dark and resonant space of the frame these subjects present themselves to us in a way that is both unfamiliar and riveting. So many of these portraits show each sitter with a deliberate gravity and with such remarkable clarity that the reflective metal image draws us more deeply into the sitter’s space and time than we are prepared for.
All images are tintypes.
Click HERE for On View Magazine Cover Story featuring this exhibition.
Click HERE for press articles and official website.
|Dulce © Keliy Anderson-Staley||Tia © Keliy Anderson-Staley||Kristen © Keliy Anderson-Staley|
The Southeast Museum of Photography is a service of Daytona State College
1200 W. International Speedway Blvd. (Building 1200) Daytona Beach, FL, 32114, (386) 506-4475
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Exhibitions and programs at the Southeast Museum of Photography are supported in part by Daytona State College, Volusia ECHO and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on the Arts.
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