'Call Her an Angel'
by Alessandra Franca Akiwumi
The human presence begins to slip away as the silence takes hold and time stretches on. The body cracks and the face dissolves. What was once there withers away, leaving behind the faintest of memories.This exhibition explores loss and visualizes the process of a human presence slipping away. The polaroid negatives are deteriorated over the course of several weeks using multiple household items. By applying heat, water and acids over the course of several weeks, the material transforms and begins to disintegrate. Time is corrosive and it is replicated through the manipulation process. The
polaroid becomes fragile and takes on an unexpected and unplanned form. The chemicals eat away at the body, damaging the skin and dissolving the human presence. Inspired by Aldo Tambellini and his Retracing Back series, this work confronts the artist’s desire to hold into information and the resistance to accept loss. Akiwumi’s practice questions the materiality of photography and breaks down the constraints of the medium. Working predominately with analog film, Akiwumi aims to move images away from their traditional framework. Through this investigative way of working, the artist invites the viewer to engage with images differently. With a background in Art History, Akiwumi also draws upon historical practices and photographic techniques like the 19th Century phantasmagorie and Victorian Séance photography to evoke mysticism and ephemerality in her work.
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