Mario Gallucci MFA Visual Studies Thesis 2014

Masterpiece Strategy

I have been interested in photo-sculpture processes ever since I made my first folded paper photo sculpture. It was from a photograph of a simple plank of wood in the studio. The moment that I sealed the last seam, something magical happened and the flimsy photograph in my hands became a plank of wood before my eyes. I was incredulous how my mind could logically know that I was holding a photographic representation yet not believe it intuitively. I had a moment of discomfort — a stutter in the understanding of the everyday objects around me. Since then, I have investigated how dependent we humans are in vision and how trusting we are in surface. I now call my photo-sculptures chameleon objects.

I am also interested in the chameleon object’s potential in photography to eliminate the photographer’s frame. Each of my objects that I create is a complete mapping of an already existing object somewhere else in the world. As a chameleon object, the viewer can experience the photograph as they would the actual object in the space—in complete 1:1 detail. It is in this way, that the photographic frame is eliminated, and the paper surface owns the space in which it is placed.

Objects are powerful things. They shape identity in the way they are created, collected, used, viewed, and remembered. As an artist, I see the object as a potential source of power—one that emanates and communicates a sense of presentness. To turn a photographic surface into an object is to give that surface a presentness. This photo-object does its job in two ways: It is simultaneously recognizable and relatable (for example, as plank of wood and all its associated memories), as well as completely discountable (as just a plank of wood, with no particular value). It is in this way that a room of seemingly normal objects can upend expectations of a space and reopen a path to a childlike sense of wonder. In a time when everything imaginable seems to already exist, I promote value in craftsmanship and object making by creating the ordinary through extraordinary means.

81 albums

Spring 2014

175 albums

MFA in Visual Studies Thesis Works