UnFrame: Relationship

UnFrame: Relationship explores my own subconscious mind using an abstract visual language based on the principles of semiotics, the analysis and interpretation of signs and symbols. The nominal subjects of its photographs are myself, my family, boyfriend, and colleagues, but the final images deconstruct and fragment them sometimes to the point of being unrecognizable, often taking on the character of collage. This process ultimately makes UnFrame: Relationship a kind of psychological self-portrait.


Part of my approach was to photograph subjects using expired films that date from the year of their birth. The artifacts of the film’s age—discoloration, fogging, loss of contrast and sharpness, and other forms of distress—became a sort of visual comment on each subject, one that usually surprised me. The effects produced by the expired film provided the starting point for each image’s final form. In some cases I created grids of images that fragmented the original photograph; each frame of the grid might contain internal manipulation that took the portrait even further from its original. I sometimes included the imprinted identification along the edges of the film within the image as a way of representing the project’s concept. In other images, two frames from the original portraits were overlapped, sometimes with different manipulation applied to each.


The final images in UnFrame: Relationship are intended to represent the emotions and associations evoked by their subjects in my own mind. Yet because the effects of the expired films were unpredictable and unexpected, there is an element of chance to the photographs. Sometimes the final result is quite different from the notions and feelings I had when I started the portrait. I think this difference corresponds directly to human relationships, in that there is sometimes a disconnect between expectation and reality.