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Virginia Inés Vergara
brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Greenpoint

Media:Photography;
Genre:Conceptual;


ARTIST STATEMENT: When approaching the subject matter of this photographic project, the dioramas in natural history museums, one concern was that given the sheer number of pre-existing images of nature, the photographs might be redundant. But photographs made by a set of cameras looking at the same subjects would create unprecedented results. This relates to the idea that the form of a camera should fit the content of the photographs. The form of camera I used, one combining three different cameras, makes reference to the planes of glass through which we view the museum’s staged scenes of nature. The procedure. I set up a large-format (4 X 5) camera on a tripod in front of a glassed-in diorama with a painted background. Then I hold a Hasselblad camera in front of the viewfinder of the first camera so that I can see what “it” is seeing. The Hasselblad camera is now positioned to take a picture of what appears in the large-format one. At this stage, with the Hasselblad at one remove from the scene, the scene looks more two-dimensional. I now see a picture of a flat piece of figured glass. The target feature of the Hasselblad viewfinder makes me feel like a hunter, and I allow the crosshairs to become part of the photograph. I then add a third camera that “looks into” the Hasselblad’s viewfinder (located on top) and this camera captures the crosshairs. Another aspect of this project is performative. That is, I sometimes take the three-camera contraption to touristic places where it seems as though everyone is looking at the scene through remembered images. By photographing the same view through numerous lenses I seek to draw attention to how understanding of a place has often become linked to widely shared photographs of the place, more than to a lived experience of it. On an important level, then, the photographs explore some of the varied intersections between art and place.
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