About eight or nine years ago, I created a blog titled 52 Photographers, where I would feature one photographer each week of the year. I don’t remember now just how many posts I made on the blog, but I know I didn’t make it a whole year. The purpose of the blog was to help me seek out photographers I hadn’t seen before to keep the creative juices flowing.
I recently had the thought of resurrecting that blog, but I don’t have the time to make it a weekly thing. So, I’ll make it as much of a regular thing that I post about on this, the Departures Blog. And so, with no further ado, I’ll introduce the first photographer I’ll be featuring: Krista Wortendyke.
It wasn’t the content of the photograph that grabbed my attention so immediately and completely. It was the way she had pieced multiple images together in a multi-frame mosaic. I had seen seen work in this same approach before though—I have been aware of James Balog’s photographs published in a book titled Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest. But it had been so long since I'd seen or thought of Balog's work, that I'd nearly forgotten all about it, so it was if I were seeing work done like this before, not in terms of content—in this case, a fireball in an unnamed or even unknown desert, presumably from an explosion, and a large, black and gray plume of smoke rising into the sky—but in technique.
The body of work "is an exploration of the way imagery and information from movies, videogames, newspapers, and the Internet come together to form our perception of war." She goes on to explain: "Explosions are war’s most universal and most spectacular signifiers. We are never falling short of this imagery. I have made use of these magnetizing images to show not only how the lines between fiction and non-fiction blur, but also to show how a mediated experience can become indecipherable from a real experience." I find the concept intriguing, and the implementation is quite apropos to the subject matter.
I love coming back to these photographs. There are so many things that go unnoticed on a first look because there are is so much imagery to take in in each piece. And with so much of war and violence in the news, the imagery of war has become so commonplace and mundane, and with the quality of graphics and the immersiveness of war video games, it is easy to confuse reality with fiction.
Take a look at Krista's website and other projects here.
*All images used by permission of the artist.