When it comes to using photographic film, many artists soon recognize that, notwithstanding their efforts to amass extensive experience and technical knowledge, the medium still demonstrates aspects of randomness that, more often than not, produce unexpected results. To some of those artists, the inherent element of unpredictability connected with the use of film represents a force of discord that they must try to tame and conquer, armed with precision tools, light readings, and the aid of long-lived techniques and practices. To many other artists, however, the uncertainty of film is cherished and celebrated and is perceived as a favorable characteristic of their art-making. Changeability of results is seen as a strength by these creators for they believe that beautiful, albeit unexpected, images can come from conditions that cannot be fully controlled. Given their predilection for media and creative methods that yield unplanned outcomes, these artists have frequently shown an interest in the use of expired photographic materials.
Expired photographic materials (film, paper, instant camera sheets) are excellent media for the curious artist who enjoys experimenting with unorthodox processes that can potentially capture truly unique photographs. The Revived With Light exhibition at the Bath House Cultural Center examines the strong appeal of degraded film and paper that are past their intended use-by date. Although expired photographic materials do not guarantee reliable results, artists explore their use because they can yield stunning surreal images not achievable with other methods. What to some photographers would seem like a deterrent (haze streaks, color shifts, larger grain, necessary exposure modifications) appears attractive and intriguing to the artists participating in this exhibition who see those characteristics not as deficiencies or constraints, but rather as an incomparable vehicle of personal expression.
The juror for Revived With Light was Enrique Fernández Cervantes, Visual Arts Coordinator and Curator for the Bath House Cultural Center.