palimpsest | 2009 | photography


Lightjet Prints
Edition 3 + 1 AP

Palimpsest is a series in response to my awareness of the shared subject matter used in my own work and in the work of Thomas Eakins. I was offered copies of photographs from the Grafly Album, produced by the circle of Eakins, that contained images of male nudes produced as references for paintings. The original album had been hidden away for many years until it was acquired by the Clark Art Institute. I had my own models restage poses found in the photographs and digitally inserted them into the original images. Some of the figures seen are Eakins’ models, and some are my own, creating an anachronistic, dissonant view of historical time. The images were subsequently framed in antique Victorian repousse frames, chosen both for their reference to Eakins’ historical time as well as for their reference to Victorian sexual mores; their sculptural qualities emphasize the fetishistic way in which the male body is displayed in the images themselves. Finally, the reframed and recast images were re-photographed against a black background. My aim is to take these relics of queer sexuality and bring them "out of the closet" into open visual space. In sum, the series represents the beginning of my interest in re-photography, my own continued engagement with queer iconography, and the use of the camera to re-contextualize and pervert narratives of history in general and art history more narrowly.



monograph with texts by brian t allen and michael ned holte