Personal Geographies | Robert Caspary

May 11 – 22, 2011

As a child, family trips and holiday times generally involved a destination two or three hour’s drive away. The geography of my childhood radiated from home, neighbourhood and city, to eventually encompass the local countryside and two or three similar, nearby cities.

At age six I moved from my original home and city to another, two hours south. That, and simultaneous changes in the family, completely altered my sense of place, within the family, geographically, and socially. All surroundings, directions, routines, landmarks and people were altered, replaced by a new set, or not.

I’ve never lost that sense of bewilderment and incomprehension of the world around me. Time becomes plastic because I’m always a few seconds behind, getting my bearings, seeing if I understand. 

I began making photographs at age eight, in part to have solid pieces, souvenirs, of time and place.  

With Personal Geographies I photographically engage these feelings and memories. The reality and nature of time and space, dream and memory are challenged and explored. Personal landmarks are sought and rediscovered, and ‘familiar’ locations are photographed with no prior memory of ever having been there.  I approach light as a physical substance that can obscure, as much as it illuminates.

“Seized in moments of visual detachment during periods of emotional contact, these images are oxidized residues, fixed by light and chemical elements, of living organisms. No plastic expression can ever be more than a residue of an experience”-

Man Ray 1934

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