Objects & Apparitions: Christine Elfman
November 1-December 17, 2017
Elfman’s photographic work explores the temporal wane of objects, images, and memory. Color slips from the surface of paper, subjects become shadows, recognition fades into lore. Using the anthotype process, her images develop slowly by sitting outside for weeks, the sun tracing the edges of exposure on paper dyed with light-sensitive pigment. Once complete, it’s a race against the clock: these photographs will continue to fade throughout the exhibition from the light that allows them to be seen. Elfman’s fading photographs on display are made from arrangements of objects from Ithaca College’s study collections, and draw from the compositions of vanitas still-life paintings, a 16th century style of Dutch painting which negotiated the existential meanings of desire and mortality. This tension between the archival impulse and ephemerality can be located in the medium of photography and the specimens themselves. Over time, objects and images become evidence of nothing but the impossible desire for permanence. Emphasizing the tension between recognition and entropy, the works offer a rare opportunity to witness the constant cycle of growth and decay, as the image is made of its own decline. While the gaze of the viewer witnesses the gradual destruction of the image, the photographs begin to mimic the shape-shifting apparitions of recollection and reminiscence.
Christine Elfman lives and works in Ithaca, New York, where she teaches photography at Cornell University. She received her MFA in Photography from California College of the Arts and BFA in Painting from Cornell University.
All exhibitions and events at the Handwerker Gallery are free and open to the public. The Handwerker Gallery is open Monday, Wednesday, & Friday from 10am-6pm; Thursdays from 10am-9pm; and Saturday & Sunday from 12pm-5pm. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Mara Baldwin at email@example.com or (607) 274-3548. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.
Friday, December 15
Saturday, December 16
Sunday, December 17
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