I am a photojournalist, who knits, draws and studies the Japanese way of tea. Each of these practices and my degree in philosophy informs my art making, which includes an expertise in architectural photography. I’m obsessed with process, documentation, details and gestures.
Early in my career, I honed techniques in photo editing at Magnum Photos and Newsweek and in reporting/writing at the magazine and a myriad of other publications.
Since the mid-'90s, I have used my skills to document cultures in built environments and call this method archi-ethnography.
My approach breaks habits of one-point perspectives, literally and figuratively, and relies on my interpretation of the interplay of ambient light, design and movement. I seek angles that explore planar vantage points that reveal the true dynamic of people interacting with each other and the unseen energies of spaces and places.
Like with all of my practices, serendipity leads the narrative. My attunement to this rigor of chance relies on a daily practice of meditation, movement and being liminal.
Each project is unique, providing its own set of rules. I champion the one-off.
How does one tell a story about a house? Especially one that is unoccupied. Using my camera, I traveled through the present while channeling a past. Anecdotes from the Kanter family informed my path.
The residence, designed in 1963 by architect Arnold Schaffner (1913-1986), voices its own poetry with leitmotifs that include circles and winding paths, acute angles, reflections on windows and Zelda Werner’s plexiglass sculptures. My lens refracts the Kanters’ collections of art and furniture, as well as their recollections of a life there.
Many of the images unlock individual and collective memories of the family. And then there are others that draw on my own curatorial eye, such as the space between a Robert Motherwell and a Jackson Pollock.
By presenting my photographs in diptychs, I pair atonal and complementary interpretations of light, form, materials and seasons in this home set on Lake Michigan’s shore. This is like the montage of two Chinese characters that create a third meaning.
The diptychs were curated in collaboration with Janis Kanter. Our time working together on several late fall afternoons brought another thread of stories and vistas.
One of the greatest challenges was sequencing the diptychs. It is like composing a visual score—music for the eyes. I printed the images and laid them out on an eight-foot-long table, on which they sat for several weeks. By serendipity, one day, in one hour, the sequence took form. The artist’s cut can be viewed in its entirety in the upcoming publication of 65.
The sequence for the website was done in conjunction with Paula Gillen.
Commissioned by the Kanter Family and exhibited at the Hyde Park Art Center.