Carrie Schneider: Double Negatives

June 1, 2020

"In the ongoing body of work Double Negatives (2020), I play up the tension between the camera’s exactitude and its capacity for abstraction, using techniques that invite discord into the otherwise rational photographic process. Using an idiosyncratic technique I developed over the course of a year and hundreds of tests, I am shooting chromogenic “paper negatives” in a large format 11x14 Deardorff camera. The analog process renders a reversed subject, and overlaying multiple exposures builds up and obliterates recognizable forms and textures over time. There is an element of chance that determines the final composition, and this spirit of improvisation guides the process: photographing drawn and painted elements including spray paint, charcoal, wax, ink and acrylic, collaging shards of mirror and glass, as well as the human figure, captured in person or virtually (increasingly, in a Covid era). Just as important as my material investigations, my relationship to subject matter offers something very personal, immediate, intuitive and urgent: portraits of women artists, the front page of the New York Times, spray-painted concrete, natural specimens found near my studio in upstate New York, and protest signs. The result is a heavily layered surface that is simultaneously unified and divided." --Carrie Schneider