Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Forum: Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson, JMU: Artist Statement

My current work is an investigation into the psychological relationship between space and place, a space being a potential place, and place being space with purpose. My focus is primarily on inhabitable spaces and mainly formerly inhabited spaces. The driving question in the work is a desire to know what change takes place in regards to the function of an empty space, an abandoned place. The photographs made are not documents of that evolution, but instead are a testament to the end of an evolutionary process.

Growing up in a rural community, my interests lie in rural places. Buildings, cars, sheds, any structure that brings to mind images of rural life. I am drawn to the structures that I make photographs of simply by observing my surroundings. Once I began to look for abandoned structures like these, I discovered that they occur more commonly than I had once thought. They are often overlooked and right around the corner.

The photographs I create are large-scale black and white silver prints. The pictures are circular, made through a door peephole affixed to the camera lens in the lens cap. The circles float in a black space on the paper that implies the separation of the viewer and the subject. Through the artifice of the picture making process, the viewer is shown again that separation. The cold, eerie feeling from the graininess of the pictures and the dreamlike quality of the line distortion give the viewer a sense of the mystery within the image. For me, the pictures are part ritual and partially about breathing new life back into what was once forgotten. The pictures are not a social comment on our culture, rather an acknowledgment of human nature.

Daniel Robinson participated in 1708 Gallery's Graduate Artist Invitational Forum. He and 7 colleagues from JMU, UVA and VCU presented their new art and will be in a group show at Capital One Headquarters in Richmond.

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