Kristen Kula | Unphotograph, 2012-2014
Traditionally, photography is identified through an emphasis on deliberate decision-making and perfectly outlined methods. Drawing from an extensive knowledge of analog photographic techniques, I question the predetermined procedure of taking a photograph. The work complicates the most basic precept of the photographic process, that one uses light to produce an image. Through the use of boiling water, heat, bleach, xylene, chemical solvents, among other processes, I pry and manipulate photographic materials to discover the creative potential embedded within them. This interaction reveals a struggle between my control, the material’s response, and the environmental changes. Unphotograph is an investigation of deconstruction, color invention, subversion of assigned meaning, as well as an embrace of surprise — effectively dismissing the autonomous control of the photographer.
Kristen Kula is a Chicago-based visual artist and curator. She completed her BFA in Photography at Columbia College Chicago (2013). She has exhibited in many group exhibitions in Chicago, including Best of the BFAs (2014) at LATITUDE - a Chicago-based professional production space for established and emerging artists - and will show at the upcoming exhibition Crossing the Line at Degenerate Art Gallery, Chicago, IL. Additionally, Kula has produced exhibitions as curator, which include PCN: CO/ACTIVATE at Elegant Mr. Gallery, Chicago, IL (2014) and Discarded: the Afterlife of Everyday Electronics at The Arcade Gallery, Chicago, IL (2014). She completed the Launch Invitational Residency at Chicago Artists Coalition in 2014, and was commissioned for a large-scale banner in Chicago’s Wabash Arts Corridor, Tornado (2012) is on display at Wabash and 11th.
Interview with Kristen Kula here.