Kalaija Mallery BFA Photography Thesis Fall 2016
With photography at the end of its life as we know it, the cameraless print acts as the exemplary form of “Photography” in the contemporary technological era. An examination of its crisis and my response through my own works; I explore a brief history of photography, semiotics, and the two together in representation and the real. Through this body of work, I have articulated poetics as a process of making meaning, and engaged in that process through generative chance and abstraction of materials. My work begins with photograms—cameraless prints made in the darkroom. As an unpredictable and repetitive process, securing the movement of liquids on photosensitive paper poses a struggle to capture what only I can see when making these prints. This process may not be apparent to the viewer, but using the language of photography, I hope to create a space where my viewer is prompted to reconsider assumptions of the photographic real through expanding the space between index and meaning in the final works. This conversation, beginning in comparisons between photography and written language, is later opened up beyond medium-specific ideology, to the universal body (abstract and unknowable) and addresses responsibilities of both author and reader as makers of meaning and of culture.