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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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Kristen Roles

SPE Member since 2013
Member Chapter: Southwest

the same impossible

Can we, through visual and tactile articulation, arrive at a mutable, mutual understanding of things that feel impossible to explain with words? In seeking a potential for intimacy within visceral accord, I make space to elicit our perceptions of physical and affective weight and levity, movement and stasis.

My former partner died in early 2015. In grasping at memories of him, I’ve been photographing the places we shared and sifting the resulting images, my time-altered re-presentations, through multiple containers as meditation and mediation. The consequent balance of eclipsing and divulging both protects the source images and pushes ajar a new window of access.

A year's worth of personal iPhone photos are translated onto temporary tattoo paper and adhered to my body. They stretch with my movement and, when I pick at their edges and peel them from myself, they retain the imprint of my skin. The resulting objects, at once reproducible and original, themselves become skins. The photographic content they contain is rendered less legible through translucence and volume as they are suspended together in floating constellations or rhizomatic webs to be navigated.

Pillows, imprinted with images or text, weighted full of sand or inflated by my breath, are unable to provide the comfort they promise.

A 4x5 slide hovers in an elongated frame, awaiting illumination by a single light source that throws a blurry ghost image onto the wall beyond it. Swelling or shrinking as it’s moved along its hinged path, the projection does not resolve until the frame is just shy of contact with the wall.

Pictures, not obfuscated by these material transformations, perhaps still nod to some unspeakable loss that's happened out of the corner of our eyes.

In Memory and Place: A Phenomenology of the Uncanny, Dylan Trigg suggests that “The refusal of the past to slip into oblivion is possible only on account of the tremendous intelligibility of the body.” When we revisit a memory, each instance of remembering is a new entity of bodily experience, a reenactment removed from the original which nonetheless reclaims that past moment with renewed salience in the present. All of these “re-s,” futile attempts at an “again” we cannot quite possess.

Might steering an audience towards consciousness of their own breathing be enough?

it extends from a spaceless within to the edge of what can be loved

as if to alert a ship at sea

under a speculative fracture

we did approach, and hesitantly so

somewhere better than this place

pink snow at the continental divide

in mast and hull

retention pond, medical center of trinity (11.14/12.15/06.16)

six months of unswallowed ssri, the day i moved out of my apartment

details of "i don't know a thing about you (suddenly you are all i ever knew)"

installation detail of "i don't know a thing about you (suddenly you are all i ever knew)"

cat tooth

green walls, two years

untitled (03.17)

waiting for the wind to catch

our hands on the gearshift

gone from my sight

greyhound, 35mm test roll

and was and is

because i do not yet understand the difference between happiness and holding

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