Brian Felsen - Home | all galleries text view | thumbnails

Photography

[DIR] Set 1 - Counterfactual states and the hidden observer
[DIR] Set 2 - Collaboration
[DIR] Set 3 - Living in stereo
[DIR] Set 4 - The right proportions
[DIR] Set 5 - Public/private
[DIR] Set 6 - The other half of the story

info@brianfelsen.com
(212) 561-5701


Artist's Statement

My photography explores the link between the way procedures jostle for attention in one's own consciousness and the way lovers compete to control each other's behavior. I use entertaining and theatrical compositions, digital manipulation, children's objects, and stereo photography (View Master Reels and Holmes stereo viewers) to surprise the viewer while giving a sense of recognition; my hope is that the work's philosophical underpinnings and modernist attention to detail afford the work a depth which rewards extended viewing.

In my pictures, I explore the theatricality of daily life, "performances" which are about both the way we speak to ourselves in conscious experience and the way married couples perform with each other. To this end, I manipulate and position my subjects like department-store mannequins and photograph them using the hotlights of film. To illustrate the performative nature of marriage, I create unusual juxtapositions in common living spaces: a pregnant woman in a cage in a snow-covered backyard while her spouse blithely writes on a laptop computer; a woman spoon-feeding her husband in a crib, simultaneously serving and infantilizing him.

Another theme running through my photography is the way we situate our lives both in the present and in a halo of counterfactual states. My goal is to visually depict how one's memories, future plans, fantasies and desires compete for attention with the "real world." I convey this simultaneity through digital manipulation: an opera singer practices in a room full of distractions and alternate selves acting on them; a husband fantasizes murdering a sleeping spouse in a bedroom filled with dry ice. To illustrate the way memory acts as a scrim on our daily experience and relationships, I transform toys and children's books and shoot in abandoned swimming pools and playgrounds.

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