Copy Paste, Andrea Chartrand
Reality is an ever-expanding, ever-adjusting entity, both transparent and opaque. Reality is shaped by perception and as a result, it is suspended in a realm of continuous metamorphosis and infinite possibility. Understandably, this continuum cultivates ground for disconnection and disoriented communication. Whether painting, sculpting, or digitally altering a photo, image-making generates a junction between what was and what now is. As a result, it is in direct conversation with the fragmentation, transformation, and impermanence of reality. Photography mirrors the point where perception and reality meet. Where photography’s predecessors manipulated physical material to represent reality, photography continues to move further away from the physical, and the real, while still shaping our understanding of these very things. The reorganization of perception in relation to the post-internet world has become the underlying concern of my practice. I am interested in engaging with formal challenges, and more specifically, how I can employ them within the conversation of ever-adjusting discernment. Through conscious consideration, these studies playfully utilize formal tools to manipulate human vision, creating points of tension, stimulation, confusion, and impermanence.
The digital editing space is the main platform for my investigations. I translate the quick and limitless image adjustments found in digital editing software into physical processes through tedious and labour-intensive techniques. I use a variety of mediums in the fabrication of my work, which include painting, clay sculpting, mold building, resin casting, and paper cutting. My process begins by creating digital mock-up compositions in Photoshop which I then mimic through the production and use of physical material. Once I have finished the physical production, I compress this physicality by digitally photographing each composition. Finally, the images are printed as unique editions and placed in customized, hand painted frames. Elements from within each piece pour out onto their respective frames, extending and confusing preconceived notions of how these images exist; where do the images begin and where do the images end? Are these images photographs, sculptures, paintings, graphic design? Through the manner in which they were produced, these works engage in a type of collapsing of medium. This overlap blurs the ability to fully categorize the body of work, ultimately supporting the conceptual parallel between larger humanistic questions of communication and experience, and photography’s role within it.