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2021 SPE Annual Conference: CANCELLED Imagining Legacy: Archives, Collections, and Memoria

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Kalee Appleton

SPE Member since 2012
Member Chapter: South Central


The photographic medium, since its infancy, has flourished due to its mechanical reproductive ability, particularly in the genre of portraiture. From the early glass negatives to the contemporary cellphone cameras, portrait photography has flourished into a traditional ritual. While this mechanical documentation has always had an undeniable ability to portray reality, its accepted that truth within a photograph is not guaranteed or expected. Viewers of photographs, particularly in today’s digital era, approach photographs with an air of skepticism. One of the most prevalent photographic techniques in the aid of this deceptive practice is the photographic backdrop, popular among pedestrian photography studios for decades. The photographs of idealized landscapes and utopian worlds become objects of transportation, portraying the subject in a halfheartedly illusionary light. These objects, used overtime begin to gain history of their own, due to mass production and repetitive use. In this series, Surrounds, I examine this history and transform the photographic backdrop into something that it was never meant to be, a subject. By incorporating hints of photographic studio equipment and early, digital aesthetic fads, like repetitive gridded imagery on computer desktops, digital editing tools and perfunctory split fountains, I exam nostalgia and create a new history for the photographic backdrop.

Villa / Elegance

Forest Trail / Moon Dream IV

Sunrise / Hawaii I

Sunrise I

Winter Wonder I

Clover II

Forrest Trail / Moon Dream I

Daisies / Clover Field I

Daisies I

Forest Trail / Moon Dream II

Forest Trail / Moon Dream III

Villa I

WInter Wonder / Fireseid Memories

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