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Cynthia Greig

SPE Member since 2012
Member Chapter: Midwest


My work explores photography's power to persuade and negotiate what we believe to be real or true. For me, the coexistence of perceived contradictions marks the moment when apparent realities collide. When we recognize that something is both askew and right on the mark, confusion and/or enlightenment usually follow. Using the inherent properties of the camera's lens and photographic film, I play with visual miscues and the deceptive nature of first impressions to make images that investigate how information can infiltrate our consciousness, occupy our memory and affect our understanding of ours selves and each other.

Representations explores the concept of photographic truth and its correspondence to perceived reality. As a playful homage to William Henry Fox Talbot's, The Pencil of Nature, I combine photography and drawing to create what I call photographic documents of three-dimensional drawings. For Representations I start by collecting everyday objects from the recent past""things made obsolete by technological changes, taste and time; in other words, a phone or television that no longer resembles the phones and televisions of today or""for that matter"" tomorrow. I then whitewash these objects with ordinary house paint as a method of erasure, and then draw directly onto their surfaces with charcoal to recreate them as visual hybrids that appear to vacillate between drawing and photography, black-and-white and color, the handmade and the mechanical, signifier and signified. No digital manipulation is involved.

In contrast to Cubism's confluence of perspectives, Representations exploits the limitations of the camera's monocular point of view, and the incomplete and illusory nature inherent in any representation. Representations exploits a system of signs and symbols akin to those drawn from consumer culture to consider how visual conventions and conformity influence our perceptual expectations and experience. These analogue photographs become especially relevant in the digital era, where a "truthful" value is still attributed to traditional darkroom photography as opposed to the deceiving value of digital tools and manipulation. In Nature Morte I try to stretch the possibilities of photography as a medium, not as a capturer of a fixed reality but as an apparatus that questions its very existence. By denying certain expectations about what is or makes a photograph, I"m interested in identifying the assumptions and values that influence and limit the direction of the medium as an art form. Ultimately my goal is to contribute to the conceptual and aesthetic possibilities of photography, and reexamine its role in navigating our relationship to the world we live in.

Representations no 22 (black & white tv)

Representations no. 38 (phone)

Representations no. 37 (camera)

Representations no. 44 (frames)

Representations no. 36 (shoes)

Representations no. 44 (purse)

Representations no. 63 (books)

Representations no. 55 (cup tower)

Representations no. 65 (fan)

Representations no. 66 (still Life #4)

Representations no. 69 (globe)

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