Carol Golemboski

I absolutely love these. I first came across Carol Golemboski‘s work in the August 2013 issue of Black and White Photography magazine. The images above are taken from here ‘Psychometry’ series. The first thing that made me stop turning the pages was simply how seductive the images are – they remind me of Vaughn Oliver‘s work for Pixies; another, much earlier, inspiration. In our attempts to make sense, analyse, pick apart or rationalise what we see, we sometimes can miss out on just being wowed by an image, and in a world drenched in pictures it is becoming more and more difficult to be so. After my initial, purely aesthetic response, I wanted to find out more – I wanted to discover how the images were made. One thing that interests me right now is the discovery of what silver halide is capable of – what it can offer us aesthetically, philosophically, morally, psychologically, ontologically (surely nothing marks or predicates our existence quite as much as a photograph) and epistemologically (much of our knowledge in the globalist society of the 21st century, due to the poly-linguistic nature of visual communication, is promulgated by images). Golemboski’s work operates on so many levels – yes, it is hauntingly beautiful and, yes, upon closer inspection, each piece contains a narrative, sometimes arcane, sometimes more obvious. What I find most intriguing about her work, though, is its technique. Generally her modus operandi is to set up objects in her studio and shoot them straight on film. She then manipulates the negatives by scratching, painting, drawing etc and prints them, perhaps using layers of other media in the negative carrier. I’m drawn to these images on this holy trinity of levels – immediate aesthetic response, secondary narrative intrigue and tertiary technical investigation. I would very much like to incorporate some of these techniques into my own practice, but I fear that they might end up being a pale imitation…!

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