|s y n e c d o c h e|
|s t u d i o||p h o t o g r a p h s b y K i m K a u f f m a n|
r e d u c t i o n s
a form of an original resulting from a reducing process; a simplified form
I am fascinated by the ability of the human brain to decipher, organize and understand the world. It is remarkable that it can create order out of the incredible amount of input that our senses alone could not handle. Could these mechanisms also contribute to our experience of art, both as artists and as viewers? For me, an exploration of the human condition must include that which makes us unique – our brain.
These images are inspired by the painter, Paul Cezanne. In his later work Cezanne reduced his paintings to mere gestures – landscapes that he had once painted with more color and detail became just dark strokes on a white canvas. Cezanne wanted to ". . . give the brain just enough to decipher, and not a brushstroke more”. Modern science confirms that the brain excels at filling in the blanks when necessary, informed by individual experience and knowledge.
Cezanne’s method intrigues me. It has to do with the core of abstraction – ambiguity and leaving questions unanswered. I wanted to explore that in my photographs. How much information do I need to include in a photograph? How much can the viewer fill in? This has evolved into other questions related to photographic convention: is it necessary to resolve the composition within the frame or might imaginary lines extend past the border? In fact, does there need to be an edge, a border, at all?
I work by pulling apart photographs from earlier projects, simplifying the images. I search for the point at which the image contains just enough information to engage the viewer. Then the experience may become interactive. Each viewer, with the unique perspective provided by their brain, fills in missing information in the way that makes sense to them.
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