Ann Rapstoff has explored the embodied and performative process of ‘taking a photograph’ and a connection with memory. Working with the Brownie camera became a physical reminder of the contrast between the invisible data of digital images and the object-ness of the analogue image.
Inviting a family member to participate in the project, Ann worked with her brother retracing memories of early family seaside trips. The action of using the camera became performative gestures which the artist and photographer behind the camera has made visible through text. Both image and text will be presented for this project.
‘…. moving in and out towards the subject, I clutch the camera close to my body, holding my breath to steady it.’
Ann Rapstoff, semblance 1; double image (2015)
Ann Rapstoff, semblance 2 (2015)
Ann Rapstoff, semblance 3 (2015)
Ann Rapstoff, semblance 4 (2015)
Ann Rapstoff, semblance 5 (2015)
Ann Rapstoff, semblance 6 (2015)
I came to working with this tiny camera with anticipation. The whole process was a magical one; it felt like a ritual and to some degree anxiety-making. My first film was ruined, as I didn’t get it on the spool correctly. But once I got the film out of the camera, it enabled me to hold the film and get to know it, a reminder of the object-ness of film. It took a while to load the camera; I was taken to another moment in space and time in which everything slowed down. Winding the film on was exciting, seeing that number one appear in the window. Then there was the anxiety of knowing you only have eight shots, but that also has a sense of freedom too. Until the film is developed you have no idea whether what you’ve taken is going to come out, let alone be any good. As such, it remains mysterious and rather magical.
Ann Rapstoff’s work explores the complexities of place, locality, social roles and structures through engagement and intervention. She is interested in the collision and interplay between humans and our environment and has been influenced by her background in psychology and human communication. She works with performance, photography and installation, often using writing and dialogue to give expression to her practice. She works with photography as a tangible documentation of performance-based practice and as a palette to draw on in the development of ideas. She has shown work both nationally and internationally.