Wayfinding in Cold Light
pigment print by Amy Friend, 'Multi-verse' series
The photographs in this series draw on diverse subject matter, imagery from across multiple time-periods created from a blend of vernacular photographs and my own photography. In previous work, I employed experimental processes and I continue to expand on this practice through various hand-applied manipulations with the photographs. These interventions are aimed at interrupting expectations and expanding our interactions with the photograph and its meaning.
The title of the series, Multi-verse, references what cosmologists and physicists describe as parallel universes, where alternate realities exist. The photographs here relate to the idea of a multiverse through their variances in time, location, subject matter and visual disruptions via the altered surface and light that emanates through the perforations. In addition to the specifics of the multiverse definition, I play with the meaning of the word “multiverse” by breaking it apart (multi-verse) to reference the numerous stories or “verses” we may encounter or recall through these photographs.
As I worked on this project, the ongoing environmental destruction, political turmoil, and human rights violations (to name a few and not lightly), played a part in how I related to the imagery. My response was initially to create or source oppositional imagery presenting simple moments from everyday life, moments of tranquility, beauty, portraits of mothers and children, but as I worked on the series I felt it necessary to include photographs that are capable of suggesting or referencing undercurrents of turbulence with images of soldiers and floodwaters while manipulating the images to indicate darker elements at play. The title of each photograph serves to guide or link to this aspect of the work, while leaving room for the photographs to transcend any concrete reading. The meaning of each image shifted and continues to shift and their “solidity” becomes more and more malleable. I reference the past, the here and now, the visible and invisible, literally and poetically, albeit not through overtly political photographs.
The medium of photography has always held a currency of possibility. In this series, I work to find meaning in the chaos, to be with it and to search for an alternate story from where we are - a multiverse.