Hannah Whitaker – Discovery Award, Rencontres d’Arles 2012
Hannah Whitaker’s subject matter tends toward the dramatic – snakes, the cosmos, volcanoes – content that brings along its own baggage. By forcing its co-existence with the more mundane, she approaches this imagery with a critical distance, placing natural theater alongside still lifes made from the detritus of everyday life. Drawing from her experience shooting on assignment or from the history of photography, she often uses other photographs as starting points from which to generate ideas. Her practice resists rote production, choosing instead to approach the making of each photograph with a new strategy, continually trying out different photographic idioms. Her recent work resumes an ongoing interest in depicting entropy, showing the decay of a rotting tree, the texture of a cave wall, or the smearing of paint. She typically shoots on film, at times allowing light to partially leak onto the film in controlled, but unpredictable ways. The resulting photographs highlight the precision of photographic detail alongside the imprecision of photographic accident.
Artist presented by Phillip S. Block.
Exhibition venue: Atelier de Mécanique, Parc des Ateliers Rencontres d’Arles 2012.