CCA+D: Michelle Repiso STILLS
The latest series of works by Michelle Repiso examines the temporal and narrative nature of photography and cinema. After initially creating 16mm and 35 mm motion picture films, Repiso carefully selects passages from the captured images. Chosen for their seemingly unimportant or ambiguous place within the larger narrative, Repiso represents these sections of film with a photographic enlargement of a particular still. By including portions of the cells that immediately precede and follow the images in her compositions, she draws attention to the tension between film's capacity for movement and her photographs' immobility. While only Repiso may be able to recall the photographs’ places in relation to the film, the viewer nonetheless is invited to imagine the development of the setting and subjects of the stills beyond the frames of the cells.
Repiso does not merely limit her photographic scope to an isolated moment, but rather provides an evocative mediation on the subject of time. While the effects of cinema require a certain number of frames to pass the human eye in a single second, Repiso questions these technical and physical requirements for storytelling by slowing down the strip of film. Although barely perceptible changes appear in the adjoining cells, each isolated fragment of the film is pregnant with its own narrative potential. For Repiso, these disconnected moments are analogous to one's reliance on abbreviated memories to evoke a greater life story. Repiso's original film haunts the silent stills, yet the photographs exist as autonomous, cinematic, and surprisingly active dramas.
Michelle Repiso STILLSis currently on view in the Alumni Gallery of the Corcoran College of Art + Design.