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Steven P Harris
Brooklyn, NY

ARTIST STATEMENT: Steven Phillip Harris I use the black and white photographic medium to produce abstractions that are evocative of time and of memory. The surrealist qualities in the prints reveal images suggestive of solar flares, microscopic structures, and found objects. These prints are produced in the darkroom with analog materials with careful attention to process and materiality. Tactics include projecting imagery, painting with basic light sources over objects, and by the chemical manipulation of the medium. The concept of how a camera-less photographic image can be perceived and interpreted by the viewer is an aspect that caught my imagination. The ability of photography to document a moment of reality as an index or time based record of an event reveals the underlying matrix of the medium. However, a profound ambiguity exists in photography that can transcend the underlying meaning beyond the image as a straightforward historical record. My work involves a dialogue between the nature of the materials and the manipulation through process on one hand, and the relationships to the viewer’s imagination and perceptions of the experience on the other. In 2014, I began making abstract prints that merged ideas of the early photogram, projections of found materials, and digital negatives—combined with light painted onto photosensitive paper. The work involved chance and unexpected outcomes through experimentation in the darkroom. This process, which includes arranging elements of an image before it is exposed and materialized on paper, mimic the spontaneous freedom that can be found in dreams, unconscious thoughts, and memories. Through these actions I construct an abstract print depicting thoughts that are also an index of the translation between various objects, imagery, inscribed light and a chemical reaction. The analog photographic medium, employed in this most basic way, reveals it to be a deeply mysterious process. I wish to focus the viewer on the many visual dialects and modes of production analog photography can occupy, disrupting the familiar everyday experience with a visual translation of the mind's eye.

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647 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217


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