Online Group Exhibition: "Back to the Future: Historic Processes in the Modern World" November 2018
The early decades of photography were predictably characterized by great experimentation and advancement. From Niépce to Talbot to Herschel, early practitioners were constantly exploring and developing new methods of capturing the photographic image. Dozens of techniques were springing up to capture light and life as never before, some of which enjoyed a robust, if brief, period of popularity, while others faded into obscurity. The advent of gelatin silver paper saw the disappearance of most of the surviving early processes, as most photographers switched to the newer and easier technology." In recent years, however, these historical techniques, long dismissed as old fashioned and obsolete, have enjoyed a Renaissance, a rediscovery and reevaluation which has generated an explosion of contemporary creative output.
Present-day photographers are now utilizing these long ignored processes in the service of an expanded and updated visual vocabulary. This exhibition focuses on some of the current practitioners who are reclaiming these historic techniques. We received submissions from all over the globe which showed the depth of talent and the range of styles from photographers who are committed to keeping these early photographic processes alive. It is always thrilling to see a large and diverse group of like-minded photographers who also find such beauty and inspiration in these processes, but it also made it agonizingly difficult to narrow that list down to just the 30 photographers showcased here.
As you look through the exhibition we also encourage you to follow the links to the photographers websites to see more of their work, and if there are images that particularly move you, reach out to the artist and let them know. We hope that as you pursue the gallery below that you are inspired to experiment with these processes in your own work and help us keep these techniques alive.
Writer and Curator, Analog Forever Magazine
About the Curator
Niniane Kelley is a fine art photographer living and working in San Francisco and Lake County, California. A native of the Bay Area, she is a San Jose State University graduate, earning a BFA in Photography in 2008.
Drawn to photography for both the immediacy of the image making process and the intrinsic alchemy of the darkroom ritual, she crafts the majority of her imagery using traditional 19th century processes which give each piece its own unique character.
After generating an extensive portfolio working with the human form, she emerged from the sequestered studio environment and began to focus on the quiet beauty of the North State rural landscape. Embracing photography’s implied narrative structure, much of her current work functions as a form of autobiography, chronicling her frequent, unencumbered explorations of Northern California’s pastoral and largely unpopulated interior.
But never one to cease experimentation, she is also simultaneously developing new complimentary bodies of work using Polaroid and plastic cameras to bring fresh perspective to both her figure and landscape work.
In addition to producing photographic images, Kelley is also extensively involved in alternative processes education and research. Often teaching workshops in the Bay Area and surrounding environs, she most recently worked as a photographer and manager at San Francisco’s tintype portrait studio, Photobooth.