In my experience, history and art have always been intertwined. I have studiedhistory through art, and often incorporated historic elements in my work. Whencreating the images in this exhibition, I searched for a photographic methodthat would be intrinsically connected to its subject. I also wanted to producethe effect of peering into the past, so the viewer would be unsure if thescenes are old or new.
Theseimages were made by photographing subjects through the viewfinders of old Kodakcameras. Many early cameras have an auxiliary lens used to frame the imagebefore exposing. When the camera is placed in front of the subject, the imagecan be seen through a small mirrored viewer, or viewfinder, on the top of thecamera. By taking digital Photographs of subjects seen in this device, Icombine the dust and distortions of these old cameras with the present scenesin front of them. Through this process I turn the technology that made Eastmanfamous back on his legacy.
I began photographing the city of Rochester to discover its past, andquickly decided the story I was interested in was George Eastman’s. As thefounder of Kodak, and one of photography’s most significant entrepreneurs, heexpanded the scope of photography from the wealthy to the average person. At atime of great advances in industry and society, he recognized photography’spotential. To highlight what remains today of his influence, I photographedplaces and objects directly related to his life and the corporation he founded.A Life Reviewed is a photographic biography. This project combines historicalresearch with nostalgic re-imagining of the past. It is an account of a humanlife, pieced together after the fact. Each image has a place within Eastman’sstory, as well as my own journey to discover Rochester and its place in thehistory of photography.