About the Photographs
Written by Jimmy Jalapeeno
As a photographer, I want to see things that have no direct connection to anything obvious. Nothing well-known, nor documentary, nor overtly symbolic. Maybe shadows or suggestions, sometimes, of something remembered. A hole, or a stanchion hoping to become a figure, or some sense of a lighted space. People will project whatever they want onto even the most perfectly limned and focused image, and turn it into whatever it is they want to love or hate, or maybe into something they remember in their lives. So I want to produce something like a primordial flow, with a badge or monument of something familiar here or there to provide the bona fides of a photographic image, so that people’s hopes will not be dashed. A photograph is supposed to be a picture of something, and that supposition can’t be defeated. But it is possible to manipulate that hope for meaning into something that is itself meaningful.
I do this usually by multiplying images with some sense of correlation of rhythms and geometry among the components. Sometimes it is a single image, but more often it is with the process once known as multiple exposure, whereby two or more images are superimposed upon a single frame of film. And it is possible to have a theme or mood to the whole endeavor, to keep it from seeming merely confused or random.
I sometimes use a similar process within painting, but toward a different end. In a painting, there is a need to provide a score or pattern for some kind of manipulated performance (i.e., painting or drawing), which calls for a different overall kind of seeing than photography demands. Subtle observations of similarity in line and form and color can be made, that beg to be taken as purposeful in painting, but can only be taken as a nearly-accidental occurrence of the “real” in photography. Photographs are just commonly apprehended differently than paintings, even when the image is similar.
A photograph pretends to be an object of record. A painting is an observation but also a record of a performance. The type of seeing that I use in painting does inform my photography quite a bit.