palimpsest | 2009 | photography

 

42x42"
Lightjet Prints
Edition 3 + 1 AP

The series of images entitled Palimpsest are works from 2009. They are a response to my recent awareness of the way in which other recent works of mine share themes and strategies that overlap with the work of Thomas Eakins, particularly Roll, a four channel video installation, and Stroke, a two channel video work, both of which were featured in a 2010 issue of Aspect: The Chronicle of New Media Art. I subsequently was offered copies of photographs produced by the circle of Eakins that were images of male nudes produced as references for paintings. I had my own models, all of whom are long time members of my social circle (as were Eakins’) restage poses found in the photographs and digitally interested them into the original images. Some of the figures you see 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 frames themselves were photographed against a back background in which the images float. Interestingly, the original photographs were hidden away in an album. 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 my own continued engagement with queer history, the presentation and production of the body, artist/model dynamics, and the use of new media to re-contextualize and pervert narratives of history in general and art history more narrowly.

 

images

monograph with texts by brian t allen and michael ned holte