Evan Penny - Commentary


Panagiota: Conversation

2007 to 2008

Panagiota is the full first name of friend and artist Penny Dimos.

Panagiota: Conversation, variations 1 and 2, are wall mounted relief sculptures that derive from photographic sequences, taken over short periods of time depicting excerpts of a conversation with Penny.

The photographic technology used to produce the image is novel, to the extent that it does not record a single “snap shot” or a sequence of single images spliced together. Rather, it is a single image taken over time where the aperture of the camera is open and the film in the camera is constantly spooling from one side to the other. The image produced depicts what the camera sees as the subject moves and speaks, and as the camera/photographer, acting as listener moves and react in kind. The resulting image depicts a subject in a constant stream and state of flux, coming in and out of focus, blurring, stretching and morphing.

Some of our understandings of the conventional photographic process are being inverted here. For example, in conventional photography a blurred image is produced when the subject has unexpectedly moved. In this case, the blur is produced because the subject is not moving (in agreement with the spooling film), whereas the “in focus” sequences represent those moments when the subject is moving (agreement with the spooling film).

To some extent, it can be said that within the language of this visual distortion, there is an accurate depiction of the process of conversation. Moments of clear communication (camera and subject are moving in agreement) are blended with moments of distraction (where camera and subject are not moving / seeing / speaking to each other).

The vertical striations within the image depict the artifact of the film chatter as it spools from one side to the other.

Evan Penny, 2011