Erica Keeling

archival pigment print (from film)
28 x 28 in.

My work explores the myths and realities of strength with a focus on the ways in which vulnerability operates as an essential companion. Meditations on this have become a tool to explore myself and the world around me with depth and reverence. The rich discoveries from this exploration are what in turn become my images. In particular, I am interested in the dissonance between that which is assumed based on what people see and the realities of complex individual identities. I’m in love with sight, however, it’s what can’t be seen that captivates me.

Photography, in a literal sense, makes an object of something. When that something represents a person, it’s important to recognize this object is now also a subject which contains a unique set of lived experiences. In this sense “the object” regards us and looks back.

Beginning with an idea, I draft a sketch the image, then stage and photograph scenes which may be minimalistic or highly developed with a medium format film camera. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the process is building the scene in my home or studio and manipulating natural light to carve out the space. In the process of creating this photograph, I sought sense in what seemed senseless. The resulting image is both political and personal, cerebral and visceral.

© Erica Keeling