Kenyon College
 

Marcella Hackbardt

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The camera isolates one moment, embarking on storytelling while disrupting narrative, and permanently leaves us in a moment of suspense. Like finding a page torn from a book, beginnings and endings go undocumented, and the logic of the action remains unclear, complex, and shifting.

 This set of images contains self-consciously manipulated figures that embody ideas. Instead of a body that functions in opposition to the mind, here the body acts in alignment with notions of thought or mindful purpose. Perception is guided by the senses of sight and touch, emphasizing the corporeal nature of knowledge. Reality is not automatic or clear-cut, but in question.  The figures’ imagination and creativity are key components in these stories of self-awareness, perspective and wisdom.

In my recent work, including series such as Story of Knowledges and Earthbound, I am interested in the degree to which we can visualize positive or productive relationships of people to the earth, and to other animals. Using panoramic, dioramic and sometimes filmic sweeps, I hope to offer narratives of interaction that press the essence of time. 

I aspire to represent the vitality as well as the mystery of knowledges and scientific practices.  This includes observation, evidence, emotional restraint, research, and the reading of instruments–with observation being first and foremost, and integral to the others, and perhaps referring back to the medium of photography itself.  The photograph–enabling others to see something overlooked, previously unquestioned, or distant in space or time.   

 We are beginning to grapple with global climate changes and to mobilize society to build a more sustainable future. There is an urgent call for rethinking social, agricultural and political solutions to human operations that pollute, degrade and destroy the land, water and air. Our contemporary existence necessitates the understanding of natural systems. In my work, people explore the movement of the planets, our earthbound condition, and test their comprehension, resilience and inventiveness. From harmony, to notions of change, to parables of the failure of our stewardship, these digital photographic constructions delve into the intersection of art and the natural order. 

SubjectivityFauna Marcella Hackbardt
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