Whether they’re gelatin silver prints or daguerreotypes, there’s one thing that most all photographs have in common: they’re flat. For a new group exhibition at form & concept, ten artists from across the United States shatter this convention by applying craft media to photography—and vice versa. Hand/Eye presents images with the texture and volume of sculptures, vaulting a medium that’s often trapped behind glass into the viewer’s sphere.
It started somewhere among the vast archives of the Historic Northampton Museum in Northampton, Massachusetts. Fiber artist Jodi Colella was working on an art project inspired by the museum’s headwear collection, and she stumbled upon a series of daguerreotype portraits. “They were like little 19th century selfies,” Colella says. “I noticed that all the men in the images had every single detail of their life listed in the catalog. About 80% of the women were labeled ‘unidentified.’”
The artist was fascinated by these forgotten, female faces, and the contrast between the women’s fleeting social visibility and their invisibility to history. After hunting down similar portraits in flea markets and antique shops, Colella stitched intricate embroideries across the images, further obscuring the women’s identities. The body of work, titled Unidentified Women, makes its Santa Fe debut at form & concept on Friday, January 26 from 5-7 pm. Colella will appear at the opening reception, and also conduct an artist talk and preview on Thursday, January 25 from 2-3 pm.