Esther Yi (2011) and Victoria Shaheen (2011) / Into the Light
Each of them crafts work around the theme of deterioration. Photographer Esther Meena Yi uses an obscure photo processing technique called mordancage to create silver gelatin prints of classic artworks that appear to be peeling. Ceramicist Victoria Shaheen's porcelain installation features what look like multiple broken lightbulbs.
Artist Statement / From the paintings of a past cultural movement, I have sculpted new photographic images which allude to different content and context. These appropriated images are transposed to figuratively degrade the historical paintings to their basic element of gesture and figure. The reproduction process allows for these paintings to be viewed in a photographic light; therefore, questioning the status of the original. Overall, the creation of these works is implicative of my greater interest in assigning new meaning to what is already available to the public domain.
Process and Technique / With technology today shifting to digitized forms and mass communication, I use the available information on the internet and bring a more personal and unique touch to the widely seen and reproduced images. I take the image’s inverted form and print it on transparency paper to create negatives for darkroom printing. Following, all images are printed as black and white photos. To create the melting and degrading aesthetic I then use an alternative process called mordançage, a process that lifts the emulsion and allows for replacement.
Artist Statement / Victoria Shaheen explores deterioration and destruction in her work. She observes urban objects that do not deconstruct in an environmental sense but instead deteriorate and become obsolete. She explores life cycles of objects, ideas, and feelings, thereby creating a beautiful and poetic dystopian circle in her artwork.