Sequential Still Life (1981)

In Sequential Still Life, rather than examining human gestures, interactions, and change, I examine objects and how they are moved, arranged, and altered. In most of this work I photographed the same location in my house for four days, at approximately the same time each day. I did not arrange the objects for the camera. Instead, I allowed variations to occur in their normal fashion.

I chose to photograph over four days rather than two days (which implies merely juxtaposition) or three days (which usually implies some type of resolution) because it is the minimum number that implies a continuum. Conceivably, I could continue to photograph the same space for many more days. I am not convinced, however, that it would convey additional information. I photographed with a 4×5 view camera in order to reveal a substantial amount of detail. Color is used because it conveys more information and has a warmer feel than black and white. I employed a wide-angle lens to provide a sense of imposing claustrophobia. When exhibited, four 6 x 7 ¾ inches photographs and text are mounted on 20 x 24-inch mat board. Color coupler (type C) prints are used in Sequential Still Life.

There is a social/documentary aspect to Sequential Still Life inasmuch as one’s objects can reveal much about socio-economic class, education level, aesthetic sensibilities, and perhaps the importance that each person places on their surroundings. These photographs also are intended to be humorous, partially because what is recorded is in its rendering of daily life both mundane yet at the same time possessing characteristics common to many people. The titles, which include the dates the images were shot, encourage such a reading.

Click on thumbnail for larger image.