The Veils

The Veils, 2023-24

These inkjet pigment prints on archival rag paper digitally reiterate the shadows of muslin (cotton) fabric cast on sheets of gelatin silver photographic film recorded without a camera.

Our minds are permeated by metaphors of cloth—from the Three Fates of ancient Greek mythology, to the world-wide-web. Here, camera-less photographic shadows of sheer muslin suggest, respectively, that which is hidden and mysterious and human forms extending themselves in pursuit or flight. The former, a negative and positive pair, are sub-titled ‘umbra’ (the negative) and ‘penumbra’ (the positive) invoking eclipse lore, myth and mystery: a sign from God; a portent of evil in the battle between light and dark; the inexplicable identical scale of moon and sun making a perfect occultation possible. The latter print suggests the fictional Faust, who, in his insatiable desire for self-expansion, makes a pact with the Devil; and his abandoned lover, Gretchen, condemned to persecution and death. Just as Goethe’s tragedy allegorized the perilous trade-off between intimate community and impersonal freedom so integral to modernity, the delicate fabric itself suggests the fragility of our entanglements in a world where social cohesion is unraveling.

The original film sources for these prints are in the series The Broken Thread.