Alison Rossiter, Expiry
I have collected almost twelve hundred packages of expired photographic papers. The expiration dates on the labels represent every decade of the twentieth century as well as rare examples from the late nineteenth century. This archive is a cross section of the history of photographic print materials, and it is the main resource for my current work. The expired papers make prints that suggest works of art from Constructivism, Abstract Expressionism, and Minimalism. Latent images made by light leaks, oxidation, and physical damage generate found-photograms. Intricate patterns are etched into the emulsion surface by molds. Some papers have been thoroughly exposed to light by the time I handle them, and I selectively develop portions of these emulsions. For my processing experiments I use only familiar photographic darkroom skills and the flow of liquids in the chemical trays to guide this work. Each package has potential based upon the variable and unknown conditions it has endured through the years. The expiration dates provide reference points on a time line through world history. I make associations with events and eras as I look into both the maximum density black of a paper and incomprehensible time.
Exhibition co-produced by Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, the Yossi Milo Gallery, New York and the Rencontres d’Arles.
Prints by the artist.
Artist presented by Brett Rogers for the Discovery Award.
Exhibition venue: Atelier de Mécanique, Parc des Ateliers, Rencontres d’Arles 2013.