Wet Plate Memories
I took the picture of this Civil War battlefield last year just outside of Richmond, Virginia. I’ve always been attracted to early photographic processes. Some of my favorite modern photographers still use this process or incorporate elements of the “look” such as Sally Mann and Joel Peter Witkin. As a kid my grandfather would share his collection of Civil War books from Time Life. In these books, I was introduced to the daguerrotypes of Matthew Brady and Alexander Gardner, the latter whom was notorious for rearranging bodies so that he could reveal more compelling stories. The pictures never seemed to be of places or moments that existed but rather a concocted war fantasy etched from the imagination of war-weary soldiers.
For the last year, I’ve been working to create images that harken back to these memories. I wanted much of my black and white art to not seem real or present and for the moment to be indistinguishable from any in the past, present or future. Here is the result.
P.S. If you wanna figure out how to do this, just email (cdetres (at) gmail.com) me and I’ll be happy to share with you the process.