FIELD RESEARCH Greensboro Project Space - UNCG Thesis Exhibition in collaboration with The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA)
"Field Research" is a step towards witnessing an archive. I have spent the last few months poring over 35mm negatives and notes created from 1972 to 1984 by a team of field researchers at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA). Seventeen young women (and one man) were tasked to travel through Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia searching for decorative arts objects made in the South before 1820. I am analyzing these photos–made for archival purposes–as art objects, exploring questions of authorship, point of view, and power dynamics inherent in finding, collecting and photographing decorative arts objects in the United States. This process is one tactic towards some of my bigger questions: what is my role in history? What stories do I pass on to others, and how? Making this work has been full of surprises. It has taken a massive amount of the prefix “re-” -- re-looking, re-thinking, re-discovering, re-cording, re-cursing, re-flexing, and re-presenting. When I inspect this archival 35mm film, though, I really do re-look at an image again and again, and then, suddenly, as if the image itself moved, something appears in it. "Field Research" is an opportunity for me to witness an archive's questions.