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Rural Pennsylvania 2010-2013

Rural Pennsylvania 2010-2013 is a series of photographic work which aims to act as a prequel for Rediscovering Pennsylvania. This work is a compilation of photographs I made while starting my journey as a photographic artist. Made solely in the state of Pennsylvania, this work is my own response to Format 2017's theme of Habitat, and the concepts presented during The Lure of the Archive Photography Symposium.

Many images in this series contain obvious faults, and indicate my grapple with learning photography as an artistic medium. In retrospect, these mistakes are part of the unpolished archive every artist has; it is one that I hesitate to share publicly. However, there is charm in the difficult process of growth and the naive eyes of one unsullied by the knowledge and politics of the contemporary art world.

Photography, Time, and memory are philosophically tied together in reflection; and there is the lure of nostalgia when looking back at crudely made work, something which I think is also inherent working with archives. Looking through these pictures, I see my faults as a young artist searching in a habitat that some would label banal. I see photographs I clearly rejected for being inadequate, but feel fond of these errors. I see that I revisited places in different seasons, searching again and again, for something of an unknown nature.

In Pennsylvania, the post industrial landscape is a sort of boundary between the past and present, the rural and the urban. I gravitate toward the rural. The landscape attempts to reclaim itself; it is on the boundary of doing so, and I found myself often on an edge. Edges: of towns, of fields and farms, of a wood or a hill, of puddles, or ponds, or lakes, or dams. At these places I found unusual things, which aren't all that unusual. There I found the desire to observe, record, and explore. To capture details, and make memories of that which is changing, decaying, disappearing. A lust for ruins and a lust to somehow own the landscape through images. A desire for control. All theoretical reasoning for art making which I would not have been able to explain, and yet instinctively drove me to create.
 

 

© Christine Novelli 2019 All Rights Reserved

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