A philosophical discourse via photographic materials and visual language.
A box of photo paper in my darkroom got 'blown', that is, opened in a fully lit room. Photography is all about the control of tiny amounts of light in tiny fractions of time, so that was a pretty gut wrenching, oh no, moment. Rather than throw away a few hundred feet of paper, I kept it for experiments. Having the lights on meant that I could finally use all of the 72" paper I had but couldn't get my arms around in the full darkness that you need for color processing. Theoretically they should have been either black or bleached white, but with different dilutions and temperature chemistry combinations they started to turn out like crazy, giant abstract paintings with some strange material presence. It's a roll of the dice, all in one go process, which is hard to fully control. I find the emotional effect of their presence bypasses reason and intellectual functions in an unsettling manner. The front room has two sets of these monsters stacked in pairs on top of each other, in separate frames, so they stretch floor to ceiling, within the room.
Confusion on this topic of feelings led me back to a box of abstract photograms I made in 2000-2003 with colored gels and geometric masks. There was one that I hated at the time that ten years later turned out to be really special in a way the others weren't. I figured the best way to try to understand this was to make some more. These are the works in the back room. They were made in 'other people's darkrooms,' and are very crisp and geometric. The ones that are special have a back and forth of order and chaos. I think sometimes this is how most things are in life.
Also in the back room is a drawing about feelings.
Mariah Robertson was born in 1975 and grew up in California. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She has exhibited widely at public and private institutions including the current exhibition XL/19 Acquisitions at the Museum of Modern Art; Mariah Robertson, The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, UK; Greater New York, MoMA/PS1, NY; Mariah Robertson, Grand Arts, MO (booklet) and Out of Focus at The Saatchi Gallery”, London (catalogue). Robertson has just released a leporello bound, scaled reproduction of one of her 100ft photographs with London based publisher ‘Self Publish be Happy’. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY and the LA County Museum of Art, CA and featured in an ongoing documentary for Art 21 titled New York Close Up.