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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Anna Grevenitis

SPE Member since 2017
Member Chapter: Northeast


"fixer" is a study in mnemonic retrieval, specifically through the sense of sight where images take the role of visual interlocutor to other senses in order to activate the viewer’s own memories. In Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust is transported back in time through the vehicle of taste. “No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it touched [his] palate,” than he was taken back to the house of his aunt in Combrey; “undoubtedly what is thus palpitating in the depths of [his] being must be the image, the visual memory which, being linked to that taste, has tried to follow it into [his] conscious mind.” As we read those lines, our own memories are being stimulated; we recall taste, we recall images. Likewise, the images that I have compiled in “fixer” are here to fix moments in time in such a crystalline way, using strobe and close-up, that they bring to mind other senses than just the one of sight. The fixed scenes are not unique; their participants, not extraordinary. We see body parts, which affords the idea of interchangeability, universality. Maybe by seeing the stubble of a beard, the viewer can remember its prickly texture. Maybe by seeing the translucent green of a gummy bear, the viewer can smell its dull saccharine scent. As one looks at an image, a sense appears and through it a new memory is being generated. The viewer is now brought into his or her own memory by way of these uncovered senses. The memories, thus interconnected to senses, are creating a bridge between photographer and viewer. fixer can be seen as my invitation to the viewer to delve into his or her memory through the open door the images provide.

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