The Curious Lexicon
Over the past few decades the line between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy, truth and lie, has become increasingly nebulous, ambiguous and flexible. We live in a world where facts are spun, warped and packaged, photographs and videos flawlessly doctored, sensational documentaries revealed to be fabricated and the news reported in numerous wide-ranging versions.
My process begins with discovering a peculiar, intriguing scene whose meaning is a bit ambiguous. I then try to make a compelling photograph that stands on its own, unassociated with other pictures or a verbal description – an image that engages the viewer without additional context or information. Taking cues from the photograph, I then enter keywords on the Wikipedia website and pour over the entries returned by the searches. Sentences from one or more articles are selected and in some cases combined and/or edited to compose the text that is paired with the picture. The final piece becomes an entry in a personal, evolving image-based reference that merges my photographs with words from unwitting online collaborators.
These pieces explore how our reading of an image is influenced by text and the manner in which a photograph informs the words that accompany it. They question the growing influence of the internet, the authority we attribute to it, and our dependence on it for knowledge and facts. They test the meaning of photographs and their intimacy with the truth.
A photograph passes for incontrovertible proof that a given thing has happened. – Susan Sontag