you are my favorite photograph


you are my favorite photograph explores the body and photograph relationship, as first articulated through spiritual photography in the late 19th and early 20th century. The practice of spiritual photography was initially conceived as a way for people to speak with the dead, but in my case, I re-enacted the physical translation of memory and photographic object in a contemporary context. I developed a practice of collecting written memories from people of their favorite images. I then proceeded to ritualistically sleep on photo paper laid on top of the written description. When I woke in the morning I moved the exposed paper from under the sheet to light tight containers. These documents were then developed, revealing various degrees of light that touched the photo paper over the course of the night. The wrinkles and creases became part of the work, as well as the variations in exposure.The work is presented as an unframed grid, allowing the viewer to see the marks of the body and passage of time. The lightbox you are my favorite photograph was displayed as a glowing embodiment of the interface between body and photograph.  

Link to video of me sleeping on/exposing photo paper and memory at Herndon Gallery, Antioch College, August 2012. 


Show presented at Denison University (2010), Herndon Gallery, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio (2012).

Catalogue associated with the show If Becoming This at Antioch College with essays by Cyndi Conn, Stephen Horne and Angela Belt Farris.

 

© 2017 Sheilah Wilson