Monday, September 3, 2012

Michael Flomen's Moonlit Photograms

Contact, 2001, ED. 4, 111cm x 88cm
As I mentioned last week, I'm TA-ing for a studio photography class this semester. It's completely uncharted territory for me, but I'm already reaping the benefits. For example, the professor I'm working with has introduced me to the work of Michael Flomen, a Canadian artist who does long-exposure photograms using the light of the moon and the flotsam and jetsam of the night.

The work is striking. Its recognizable forms (a bit of seaweed or the webbed transparency of an insect wing) inhabit topographies and cosmos that are entirely alien. The flashbulb of a firefly becomes a solar flare which--through the long exposure--becomes 40 solar flares. Strangeness multiplies, and yet an overall softness permeates the images and demonstrates that strangeness might coexist with benevolence.

Feeder, 2006, 122cm x 244 cm, U.P.

I'm also kind of enthralled by his process. The artist, whose images only quicken by the light of the moon, himself becomes nocturnal. Not a slave to the nighttime, but one whose moonlit activities border on ritual. I'm definitely going to need to track down La Nuit est ma Chambre Noire (The Night is My Darkroom), the film that documents that process. Here's a clip:

Untitled 41, 2008, 61cm x 51 cm, U.P.
Untitled, 2007, 51cmx61cm, U.P.

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