Text and photographs by Erika Kapin.
Following in the same vein as my other bodies of work, the collection “Stolen Moments” seeks to explore the world around us. It strives to discover new perspectives by which to contemplate our surroundings and explore the interconnectedness and unity of all things.
The series began as an investigation into time sequences and how to represent them photographically. Throughout the process of creation, it has grown and evolved into a less traditional, non linear exploration of time. Each work represents a potential window into the possibility of experiencing multiple moments simultaneously, woven into the texture of a single unified experience.
The final images in this collection are built from many single photographs. Each of these single photographic cells contains subject matter that is very simple and basic to life, and something to which much of humanity can relate.
However, the primary focus of this work is not the subject matter of the photographic cells or the narrative that is occurring between the cells of the time sequence. When combined together there comes to life a completely new piece. Like cells of a living being, these units have their own life, yet at the same time serve to complete another whole which is greater than the sum of its parts. Experienced at once and together, these time sequences become a new entity.
Could it be possible to experience time in a non-linear fashion? If so, what would this be like? This work, using textures built from time sequences, seeks to understand the possibility of an expanded time awareness and strives to allow the viewer to experience in one moment, the passage of many moments through time. For an example, we can have a look at “Our Hour”. The individual images that build this piece are of two intimate subjects. The man in this image is seen shaving his long hair completely off, while the woman lays in a bubble bath until the bubbles dissolve and the water disappears down the drain. The time sequence is not in strict chronological order as you can see by the bubbles in the bath. Because of the mixed time-line presentation, the non linear element is emphasized. The shaving and the bath: two intimate, domestic activities which occupy time in our daily lives are presented here as one texture, one moment. The result is an interlocking, three dimensional, translucent tapestry of time
In “Every Moment is Precious”, the final image is one of a dream like energy. Its momentum gives the sense of flowing, pulsating lights. The images of people walking and waiting in the subway system shouldn’t be the focal point. The camera’s frame of view remains the same while motion of human bodies in their daily commutes create the energy in this piece when absorbed as a non linear experience.
There is an upward sweeping motion in “Ascension” which may be reminiscent of the rungs of a ladder and represent many types of elevation. The less apparent story behind this piece’s creation is that it is built from images shot at night in a snow filled alley. A shadowy figure in the distance runs closer to the camera and creates the sensation of motion. The final image is an exploration of these unified moments and what patterns and textures they may reveal when woven together.
A very circular, organic texture emerges out of “Thankful”. This piece is an expression of my gratitude toward nature and life in general. It is composed of an image of a bean growing from the dirt, into a sprout bursting with life.
“Journey” uses the process of a painting coming to life as its foundation. From the stretching of the canvas, through many layers of paint, this image is a collection of photographic fragments taken throughout the entire story of this painting’s creation. I was very fortunate to work with the painter Angela Costanzo on this project. The final image incorporates elements of canvas, quilting and photography to explore the process and birth of a painting. Though this piece contains elements from all points in the timeline of the painting’s creation, they are presented in such a way so as to remove the focus from the step by step activity and instead encapsulate the overall essence of this particular journey.
“Passage” is the only image in the series with a central figure involved. She is curled into a fetal position, on the verge of being sucked into the darkness or rising to the light. She is at the center of a petal like explosion of color. On closer inspection, each of these ‘petals’ tells a different part in the narrative of this image. A timeline is indeed unfolding and it is to the viewer’s discretion from where and to where passage is destined.
In “Remembrance” there is a sensation a fluctuating light. It appears as golden tapestry where warmth, bright light and darkness are woven together. The source of this lighting comes from candles atop a slice of birthday cake, which slowly burn through this time sequence until they flicker out. In many cultures, cake and candles serve as symbols of marking an occasion, hence, In the final image these elements serve as symbols that inform the larger entirety of the piece.
“Strawberry Fields” is perhaps the most straightforward image in the collection. The photographic cells in this work are large and one can clearly see slices of decadent strawberry cheesecake slowly turning moldy and rotten. The unnerving raw meat quality coupled with the pink toned cloth gives a fleshy and almost sensual quality to the unified whole. Compared to the rest of the images in the collection, it is perhaps with this piece easiest to focus on the progressive time sequence. Because the time sequence is very obvious, it could be viewed as the how to for observing the rest of the collection.
In addition to the non linear time-line aspect, another very important idea which I hope these works will convey is that every moment in life is precious. A piece of cake rotting, hair growing, bathing, a person walking, a scar healing….these are some the subjects the pieces this collection use as their base. The fundamental subject matter of each photographic cell is often of something from everyday life that does not have much significance. These are the moments in our lives that we pass over without paying much heed to. They get lost in the wash of more ‘important’ distractions. However, each of these humble occurrences has their own beauty and importance. An awareness of that beauty is something I find worthy of discovery.