Artist Statement - David A. Cory
  • Artist Statement

Artist Statement

"The enemy of photography is the convention, the fixed rules of 'how to do.' The salvation of photography comes from experiment."

-László Maholy-Nagy 1895-1946


While I sometimes use digital cameras,  I prefer film for fine art photography. Being limited to the small number of exposures on a roll of medium format film forces a more contemplative approach to making images. My cameras of choice are Holgas,  inexpensive plastic devices with limited controls. The images are focused, more or less, on the film by inexact plastic lenses, or in some cases, by a pinhole in a thin metal plate. I also use a variety of other cameras, some  factory made,  some modified by flipping the lens backwards, and some homemade.

I live at the boundary between Indiana and Michigan. The photographs here come from these borderlands. While geography influences my art, I am more interested in a broader definition of a borderland as a point where things overlap—an indeterminate area that is hard to define because it contains qualities or features of the two overlapping things. Sometimes these indeterminate areas may be depicted by a single exposure. At other times, multiple exposures create the overlap. As a retired physician who specialized in diagnostic radiology, I spent most of my adult life analyzing images of the human body, exploring normal and abnormal, and the overlap between. A classic reference book in radiology is called Borderlands of Normal and Early Pathological Findings in Skeletal Radiography. This book attempts to impose certainty over ambiguity. In life, this is not always possible. My photography reflects different kinds of borderlands, between the natural world and the manmade, between consciousness and dreaming, between decay and renewal. Ultimately, the camera's shutter defines a moment, the borderland between past and future.

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