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Path l

Path l

Elimination, 1999

Almost every move made in Path i involved elimination. Whether it happens before or after exposure, cropping is really the only form of elimination that does not replace information. As the placement of the image frame is the single most important factor in the creation of an image, every image involves elimination to one degree or another. Almost all of my images are hyperconscious of the border. The border defines the image. I use it to control the visual flow in an image. I’m drawn to images that suggest the spaces that exist beyond them. Limits can be used to create or destroy, to include and exclude. The frame is a creation and a destruction, an inclusion and an exclusion, a continuance and a cessation.

Every act of elimination within the picture frame involves the introduction of new information. If this were not true, the act of elimination would leave a hole through rather than in the image. In Path i, mountains at the horizon were eliminated or replaced by sky. This had been my intention all along. Without the mountains the recession of space is allowed to continue indefinitely. The horizon line is a border within borders. Borders set the stage. The horizon line marks the limits of our perception; a vast space beyond it remains unseen but is implied. It marks the point at which one thing is visually eliminated and another revealed. The flat plane of the blue sky is a similar boundary. We know an even vaster space exists behind the sky.

The clouds echo unseen starry constellations. A few clouds were eliminated at the edge of the horizon. Their presence impeded the visual progression, stopping the eye at the horizon and the border of the image and calling unecessary attention to the limits of the image. Without them the vast spaces beyond the borders and within the image were more readily implied.

The cracks in the earth were eliminated. This was the root of the image. The elimination of the cracks does far more than enhance latent qualities; it creates a new entity, an entity that is defined by its emptiness. The utility of the path is its emptiness. If it were full we could not walk in it. By virtue of absence we are drawn to empty space. But something must remain for it to become empty. If all the cracks were eliminated there would be no path.

Ironically the elimination of the cracks makes it debatable whether this strategy for creating this image rests solely on elimination. As the cracks are empty spaces, they needed to be filled in order to be removed. Has matter been added or space eliminated? The filling of one space (the cracks) creates another space (the path). Has a three-dimensional physical space been eliminated and a two-dimensional conceptual space been created?

What is left unseen in this image is greater than what is seen. One senses that the portion of the path that is revealed is small in comparison to what is not revealed beyond the picture frame and beyond the horizon. It is inferred that all the surfaces extend beyond the border of the image indefinitely and that behind what we see of them there is a great deal more space, even very different realities than the ones revealed by the surfaces. The image is a meditation on kinds of space, their uses, and our ability to perceive and relate to them.