Thoughts - an overview of my work
My interests have been shaped by
the image-gathering potential of the camera and the time-and
space-altering characteristics of cinema. By cropping and structuring
multi-image pieces, my work is as much about creating a sense
of motion as it is about investigating the nature of perception.
What is "framed" and what is left out? The mind sees
fragments but has an uncanny ability to "fill in the blanks",
restoring a picture to its "wholeness". I am interested
in the alternating tension created by presence and absence, what
is seen and what is implied and how this denotes a priori structure.
In this play of color, shape and form, I hope to open paths that
invite perceptual navigations.
From the Range: "Pot Bottoms" and "Naked Eye Objects"
In the spirit of a reorientation to the everyday, my series “Pot
bottoms” and “Naked Eye Objects,” 2004-08, present
the bottoms of pots and pans, revealing the changes that occur
imperceptibly, and over time, on the undersides of these cooking
utensils. Thrown into detailed focus is the daily contact between
metals, fire and a variety of foods and products. The final photographs,
showing different sized “discs” floating in black,
either metallic or boldly colored, are ‘abstractions’ and
yet, still pots, shifted to another scale. That these can be compared
to planets, individual and clustered, and otherwise range from
the “optical” to seemingly “archaeological” activates
the surprise of seeing simultaneously ‘straight’ and
metaphorically, seeing ‘the thing itself’ and ‘the
thing as other.’
Laura Parker 2010
In the three photographic works entitled “Rotations” I’m
returning to the analog (darkroom printed) color photograph. These
multi-image structures have been created so that the viewing experience
alludes to a brief moment of time. This work, a nod to the kinetics
of experimental film, partly springs from my forays into digital
film animation, but is also a new iteration of my ongoing interest
in time, structure and a playful dissection of the act of looking
The individual photographs structured into these installations
combine a projected negative and a photogram.
This is a two-step process effected in complete darkness with negatives,
clear plates and bowls. I’ve applied this technique, quite
specifically, to create circular images that float within a black
field with a light ‘halo’ around the perimeter.
Photography, whether moving or still, inevitably leads to issues
of perception. While we use a variety of devices to frame or study
an object, the act of looking –eye movements- can be broken
down into the intentional and the random. There is always surplus
information that is tangential, unseen, rejected. My “Rotations” series
gives equal weight to what might be considered a ‘subject’ and
the visual information that could be deemed peripheral to the subject.
With the ‘circular’ image I allude to the eye, as
well as the focusing use of a spying device (peep holes, telescopes,
cameras, etc.) I’m after a visual flow that that is both
centering and expansive; I’m including the ‘outake’ if
you will.” Ultimately I celebrate the ‘kinetic essence’ of
film using an outdated printing process that allows only one frame
at a time.
Laura Parker 3/6/2010
"Foamade Gestures" documents the transformation of a length of
foam into a drawing material arranged against the grid of my driveway.
Cut from the fraying edges of a mattress, this was originally an
act of ‘salvage,’ (“foamade” is a play
on the “homemade” and all that is ‘domestic’ and ‘comfy,’)
but there is an undercurrent of the grotesque and undecipherable.
While portraying the spontaneity of unpremeditated drawing - the
unwieldiness of this soft, spongy material allows only simple gestures
of winding, dragging and throwing - this series also documents
the simple activity of negotiating space to “draw out” a
series of loops and coils. The body is absent, but ‘object
references,’ take on a kind of corporeality (such as “knot” and “ear.”)
Ultimately my interest is in the transformation of an ambiguous,
homely material against the warped structure of my driveway (the ‘hallowed
grid’ cedes to the hopelessly organic!) The “formless,” takes
on a glowing orange prominence while “structure” is
gray and distorted. Finally, both figure and ground merge into
a mercurial declaration!
Laura Parker 2001/2010
My discovery that exposed and developed sheets of color photo paper could be used to translate a series of physical marks led to this series of rubbings. The chemically developed black photograph is a literal “picture” of white light; a camera-less photograph. From there, what started as ‘photographic’ cedes to the tools of an older form of printmaking. Instead of optics there is a stone. Instead of a taxonomy of “subjects” there are objects: a labyrinth, a leaded window, a double-headed axe. My hand directs and angles the stone over the paper, using pressures from light to forceful, and the objects hidden underneath the paper begin to reveal themselves. If I move the paper around more decisions have to be made. I imagine stroboscopic mappings of my nerves and synapses, or strange nocturnal landscapes viewed from the air, or perhaps an unfamiliar set of constellations. What shape to scratch, where to put it and when to stop? Shapes and occasional colors advance and recede, sometimes just a hint of the object under the paper, sometimes the object multiplies into complex patterns.
Each rubbed image starts as a circle, and in some way, ends as a circle. There is a “print,” the physical rubbing, on top of a print, the photograph. One picks up where the other leaves off; there is no discernable end.