antonia kuo

Total Object, Complete With Missing Parts

April 24 – May 1, 2016


The chemigram prints in the exhibition embody an investigative approach toward manipulating the limitations and variables in a given set of photographic and experimental painting processes. Light-sensitive silver gelatin paper is initially treated with various resists—sprayed, painted, incised, or screen printed, then processed in photographic chemicals.

Cut approximately to arm’s length from rolls, the parchment-like surfaces operate as spatial registers of temporal actions, demarcating the performative aspects of the preparation, painting and processing of the prints. By gouging, abrading and puncturing the substrate, the material attributes of the prints are further emphasized, rupturing the inviolable illusion that the resultant photo-image is solely within the realm of the two-dimensional.

The chemigram process is further exploited by the artist as a means toward mediating creative control, allowing for latent colors and tonalities to be unpredictably coaxed from the photo-sensitized paper in direct relation to the amount of exposure to light, the specific properties inherent in the different kinds of paper, and the application of various photochemical dilutions. Photographically impermanent, the prints are subject to change over time due to those conditions— a final stage in an unstable series of processes.