What is past is prologue. What happens when the images in photographs that make sense of our history no longer exist? What is possible for the future?
What is Past is Prologue explores a history re-visioned and investigates what our past, present and future might look like if the images that we use to make sense of our history to imagine and set context for the future, ceased to exist as we know them.
This history “re-visioned” is made up of the seminal images of history where what is salient in each image – what Walter Benjamin described as the aura of the image – I digitally erase using the tools of Photoshop like: content aware, the cloning stamp, and healing brush, to strip from the photograph its authenticity and authority. Re- photographed on 4×5 film and then printed as palladium prints, these images become new documents of an unknown past. Questions I hope to raise through the creation of these images are: Can the authority of the past be rewritten? What can we know about the present when the visual trigger for affect and reaction to the past is silenced? Is it possible for a better, transformative, and diverse future to be realized when the past in images is now unknown?
In the contemporary moment, we now more than ever experience and know the world through the ocean of images circulating through the networks and devices that connect us. I am interested in exploring how photographs can be experienced when the images we know in these photographs no longer exist.
This series is currently in progress.