I have been printing these small, 4"x4" to 5"x5". It started when I printed several out onto a single page and trimmed them into proofs. For my exhibition at Mendocino College, I decided to window mat a selection of 47 (for my number of years!) I had a lot of flexibility to show what I wanted. The prints are 4"x4" in 11"x11" mats, unframed, and set off wall with 3/16" spacer. I like seeing them small like this, although they could bump up in size to see more detail. I photographed them all at f/22 in a formal composition to show as much as possible in a direct and unambiguous way.
(The exhibition was like a mini-mini-retrospect, I showed "Hatsubon", "Rattlesnake Lake" and included these plus new work from Woodstock. I think I showed a fair amount of it all in my artist talk at SF Camerawork.)
In upcoming shows- for one they are window matted as above, but have white wood frames for protection, as a grid of 9 . In another they are 3 grids of 9 beds (27 total beds) with 9 beds per 20"x20" print and magnet to the wall. We'll see how this looks, they are doing all the printing for free, so I can't complain. These two shows might be somewhat satisfying, but I really want see them all shown together!
A Place to Rest | 2009 to present
After graduation, I spent four months in residence at Musée Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saône, France, one of the original sites in the invention of photography. During my time abroad, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States and hope was in the air, in particular around resolution of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. From France I traveled to Amman, Jordan to co-produce a documentary with Sama Alshaibi for Direct Aid Iraq, a peace-building mission between Iraqis and Americans to aid displaced civilians as the result of the war.
Friends began to ask me, “Where are you? It’s hard to keep track of you.” When I could get internet access, I would scroll Facebook and see countless pictures of meals that people were about to eat. Witnessing refugees search for home and stability under dire circumstances, where meals were not a given, ignited something in me. I was not blaming my friends; at the same time I thought, I will take a picture of where I slept tonight, for I am lucky to have such a place. As a joke, or perhaps a challenge, I shot on film, not with the digital camera. After I returned to the United States, I embarked on a post-graduation mobile lifestyle of residencies, academic migration, and nomadic movement associated with searching for work while following creative pursuits. I continued to photograph every bed I slept in with my Rolleiflex camera, as a way to slow down and consider where I was–friends’ places, catsitting gigs, conference rooms, hotels for interviews, my parent’s house, a rest area parking lot in the middle of Kansas. I didn’t have hard rules, except that I only photographed a place once, even if I returned multiple times, or stayed many nights. The everyday is a well-explored genre in the photographic field, yet it is still irresistible as a way to mark place and time. The archive has over 200 beds and is still growing.
HERE ARE A WHOLE BUNCH MORE! They aren't properly edited yet, some are gridded and so on, but just to show the breadth and difference/similarity. There might be some repeats, and many aren't yet edited for C&D.
And just a few more...
Des Choses du Carmel
Then, I couldn't resist showing the relationship to this work, which I made at Musée Niépce right after graduate school, and where the bed took center. Hmmmmm!? This was shown as a single line of prints at the museum, but I also made it as a book. It's not easy to tell, but imagine the negative white spaces are the "blank pages". I haven't show but a few images from this in the States, it just got buried underneath new projects.
So, I have only shown a few of these on Instagram (I did a daily post towards the end of the year). This was getting comfortable in front of the camera. It also feels like it is part of "Seen" but it feels oddly related to these other bodies...there are a few explicit ones in here, I might hesitate...
"In an effort to warm up to a new project, I take a self-portrait every morning to get over lingering camera shyness. There is a scale in the room, so I weigh myself too, and record it in my journal. At the artist-in-residence house at Center for Photography at Woodstock, every morning for the duration of my residency, summer 2017. Crown Graphic 4x5, f/32."