Artists-in-Residence: Kirk Crippens, Maggie Preston, & David Wolf

Exhibition Dates:  11/16/12 - 12/14/12
Opening Reception:  11/16/12, 6-8pm

The 2012 RayKo Artists-in-Residence are a diverse trio of traditional darkroom users doing very unconventional things. 

Ten Thousand Scrolls

Kirk Crippens traveled to the comparatively small city of Lishui, China, and found himself learning something he never could have grasped from his home in the East Bay. A narrow understanding of a foreign land is inevitable when knowledge simply comes from books, television, the internet and news reports. Kirk replaced that shallow information with face-to-face encounters and helped transform and broaden his understanding in ways otherwise impossible. With two 35mm cameras strapped around his neck and several dozen rolls of black and white film, Kirk went to the countryside of China with only this much Mandarin in his vocabulary: “Ni hao.” He managed to meet hundreds of people who allowed him to photograph them and who took him into their homes and into their confidence. Kirk and his understanding of China and its people will never be the same. There is an ancient Chinese saying with a simple concept that speaks to the heart of his project, "Traveling ten thousand miles is better than reading ten thousand scrolls." 



Maggie Preston's practice represents an exploration of the basic concepts of the photographic medium with her return to the photogram! In her project, Contact, the technical strategies and critical approaches employed by Preston at once explore the process and materiality of photographic objects, as well as their presentation and interpretation. She has been combining digital and hand-made negatives with silver gelatin prints and traditional darkroom techniques to document and present a world that is unrecognizable and as mysterious as the materials themselves. She states: “Because of my conceptual interests, I feel it’s essential that I learn how to merge analog and digital practices, and that a distinct hybrid approach would yield artworks that can act as metaphors for the current state of flux. On a personal note, I’m seeking a visual articulation of the restlessness that I feel as a result of having grown up straddling the divide between analog and digital.”


The After Life of Things

David Wolf has a love affair with the color darkroom. The After Life of Things explores the materiality of things and our relationship to them, while celebrating the wonder of the traditional darkroom in an age of its decline. Drawing a parallel between discarded objects and discontinued photo papers, images of unwanted objects are printed on a variety of papers collected from closed photo stores and the basements and closets of onetime darkroom users. The resulting prints bear witness to the mercurial effects of time and happenstance, with each print distinguished by the shifting colors and random marks of age.