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2024 Annual Conference

St. Louis

March 21-23, 2024

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Out of Reach

Carolyn Benedict Fraser

Friday, November 10 - 3:25PM to 3:55PM

At a time when we are accustomed to constant and unlimited access to images and information, I think about the realms that remain obstacles such as memory loss, knowledge of the future, and the physicality of the world and of our bodies. 


A photograph can provide a respite from loss and distance and gives us the sense that we are capable of approaching or gaining proximity to what we desire to know or obtain. I utilize the constraints of the camera, the frame, and vision to address the ways we cope with limitations. I look at instances where we turn to technology to gain access to what is beyond our scope. 


Using a 4x5 field camera, I make long exposures while walking repeatedly around objects. I walk towards objects until my lens touches them, testing the negative's ability to record. In some instances I use the beam of a flashlight to carve landscapes out of darkness. I look for circumstances in the environment that speak to this yearning to access, attain, and collect - such as a saturated window screen that both blocks and exhaustively reveals the view of the other side. I install diptychs on opposing walls, forcing the viewer to turn their back on one image in order to see the other. I utilize resources that are perceived as omniscient - such as Google Maps, weather, and flight tracking applications - to fill in the gaps of my experience. 


Some argue that the overwhelming prevalence of images in our daily lives makes us numb to seeing, others think that it allows us to see or remember more. My work doesn't seek to provide answers or make things more attainable, but instead explores the ways in which we attempt to resolve experiences that remain out of reach.

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Carolyn Benedict Fraser
Carolyn Benedict Fraser

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