Artist-in-Residence | David Wolf

SIDE GALLERY: 11.16.12 – 12.14.12


Stacked TVs

The After Life of Things

David Wolf

The After Life of Things explores the materiality of things and the nature of photographic materials, while celebrating the wonder of the traditional darkroom in an age of its decline.

The series draws a parallel between discarded objects and discontinued photographic papers. The imagery comes from a body of work devoted to unwanted, forgotten and discarded things: all photographed as found, at random. The expired papers on which the images have been printed are similarly unwanted, having lost their usefulness to their original owners, and are culled from closed photo stores and the basements and closets of former darkroom users.

Despite stated attributes of type, surface and size, each box of paper remains a mystery until opened and the condition of the paper is revealed. Time and happenstance leave their mark in unpredictable, often beautiful ways, causing color shifts, fogging and stains that become an intrinsic part of the image.

The print itself takes shape as a distinct found object, echoing the random encounter with the discarded thing—book, chair, doll—it has as its subject.

The beauty of this project is how it inverts the decline of traditional darkroom photography by finding creative reuse of discarded, outmoded materials to explore the very notion of obsolescence itself, and, by extension, our own mortality.


I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to pursue this project as a resident artist at RayKo.  It’s a rare gift to be entrusted with the freedom to follow an idea to fruition, to make the possible tangible.

I’d like to thank everyone at RayKo for assisting me throughout the residency, and especially Stuart Kogod and Ann Jastrab for entrusting me with this privilege.

The residency provided me with the challenge to create something new, from scratch.  Unfettered time in the darkroom enabled this to happen, resulting in the work presented here.  Most importantly, RayKo’s generous support inspired an invaluable process of exploration and discovery, from which I will continue to benefit as the project evolves in the days ahead.

More shout out than lament, this is a celebration of a longtime artistic practice facing inevitable change.

To see more of David's work, visit: