FIONA ANNIS
  • Hesitation (a matter more immediate), Line 5, 2018
  • Lapse, exhibition artifact
  • La Survivance des lucioles, 2018
  • Hesitation (a matter more immediate), Line 2, 2018
  • At the inside edge where words go missing, 2013-2018
  • If Not, Winter 2018
  • Installation view, The Light That Was Never Was, Galerie D’Este, 2018
  • Installation view, The Light That Was Never Was, Galerie D’Este, 2018

The light that was never was

The light - inside the floating darkroom, red safe glow. Hand-pouring liquid chemistry – the formation of a wet silver skin. Trickling, pooling, staining. Gestures inscribed on a sensitive surface. My movements, sometimes as subtle as a hesitation, register a material imprint of light and time. A photograph without a reference – that was never was.

An ongoing interest in how the past inhabits the present brings me to explore the history of photography by material means.This exhibition emphasizes the wet-plate collodion technique, which is characterized by hand-processed photographic plates coated with chemistry that the artist mixes according to 19th century recipes. My approach focuses on the materiality of the media, combined with a deep interest in provoking unanticipated outcomes. This leads me to create work in unexpected ways, including a series of camera-less images that render visible attributes particular to hand-processing. Gestures – often as subtle as a hesitation - are recorded as a material imprint of light and time onto the sensitive surface of photographic plates.

In my ongoing research, I draw inspiration from fiction, philosophy and poetry. Many of the titles of works in the exhibition are citations from books including: Fragments of Sappho by Anne Carson, The Underpainter by Jane Urquhart, The Future Birth of the Affective Fact by Brian Massumi, and Survivance des lucioles by Georges Didi-Huberman.

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