Fold (45º/135º/225º/315º directional light sources), December 31, 2012, Los Angeles, California, Ilford Multigrade IV MGF.1K,  2012

Fold (45º/135º/225º/315º directional light sources), December 31, 2012, Los Angeles, California, Ilford Multigrade IV MGF.1K, 2012

On the Conditions of Production of the Black and White Fold Works (2007–)

Process:

The works in the series are photograms made from folding sheets of light sensitive, gelatin silver, fiber-based photographic paper. The paper is measured according to the scale of the artist’s body (for example, the distance from the top of his hands to his feet, when his arms are fully extended, or the approximate size of his open hand). The paper is cut and folded into basic three-dimensional forms. Light is then cast down on the forms from a controlled source (usually an enlarger head) at specific angles, which describe different “perspectives” (or points of optical emission) on the object. The resulting work presents multiple tracings of a three-dimensional object on the field of the photograph. The resulting photograph is both a depiction of the photographic paper and the paper itself, as the paper casts an image of itself onto itself through the exposure process. Since there is no negative and no projected image, the works are unique. Because of this and the chance operations in the process, the works are impossible to reproduce in another circumstance. The exposure process occurs with no control over the shape of the folds or ability to predict the arrangement of forms in the final work, thus the producer of the work (the artist/producer) is working blind within the parameters set up before hand. Once exposed to light, the paper is flattened and processed in large baths with black and white photographic chemistry (Kodak Polymax T and Kodak rapid fixer with hardener) and then left out to dry for 72 hours.

 

Titling Conventions:

The works are titled “Fold,” followed by the angles of light cast on the folded form (e.g., if the paper is exposed at 45º, 135º, 225º, and 315º, the resulting parenthetical reflects these angles), the phrase “directional light sources,” the date the print was made (e.g., June 13, 2008), the location where the print was made (e.g., Annandale-on-Hudson, New York), and the type of paper used (e.g., Foma Multigrade Fiber). Standard conventions for the date, medium, and dimensions of the work are used after this title. A final description of the work, for example one that would appear on a wall didactic in an exhibition space, might read:

Fold (0º/90º/180º/270º directional light sources), June 13, 2008, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, Foma Multigrade Fiber, 2008

Black and white fiber based photographic paper

42.5 x 68 inches

 

Here Annotated:

Fold (0º/90º/180º/270º directional light sources) [angles of light], June 13, 2008 [date of production], Annandale-on-Hudson, New York [city of production], Foma Multigrade Fiber [brand and type of photographic paper], 2008 [date of first exhibition]

Black and white fiber based photographic paper [medium]

42.5 x 68 inches [dimensions]

 

—Walead Beshty, 200