Kwabena Slaughter

Kwabena Slaughter Artist's Dtatement

My work in photography begins by dividing the medium into its constituent parts: the camera, the photograph, and the image in the photo. The camera, an enclosed object with a small hole in one side through which light enters, predates photography by thousands of years. The camera, as we know it today, evolved out of Renaissance painting experiments in linear-perspective. A few curious chemists simply put a piece of light-sensitive paper in the light path. As a result of this particular history photographic images still bear a strong aesthetic kinship with western painting. My work is intended to ask the question: "what would photography look like if it had grown out of a different aesthetic tradition?"

The photos I make explore the representation of space, time, and narrative through a panoramic style, much like that seen in Asian scroll-painting. I use a specially modified camera to shoot directly onto long rolls of color slide-film,. The image fills the entire film-strip, without any frame breaks. The strips of slide-film, which can be up to 60-ft long, are displayed on light-boxes. The long horizontal strip of film serves as a measure of the dimensions of the subject, as a record of the movement of the subject over time, and as a reflection of the movement of the viewer as they walk along the image.

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