Lost & found

Botkin, Erica Lauren
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

I have produced two distinct bodies of work, landscapes and portraits. In both, I investigate my relationship to the subject. My role as the photographer fluctuates between the time I spend by myself and the time I spend with others. The landscape series promotes the act of looking and obscures my presence as photographer. Responding to the saturation of images in the media today, I hope to recalibrate viewers to a slower pace. I look for spaces at the edge of a controlled wilderness that are still accessible to the general public and mimic the identity of my childhood home in Northern California. Both color and black and white photographs sentimentalize manicured nature in ordinary locations. These landscapes facilitate reflection through consideration of similarities and differences. In doing so, these locations lose their specificity and approach a generalized sense of the sacred. The second body of work is a series of photographic collaborations I make with my autistic friend, Will Johns. He selects the subject matter and operates the light meter. His autism informs his methods, which then affects my methods. His idiosyncratic choices force me to photograph subject matter I wouldn’t be drawn to and compose in a new way where I must consider Will as author, subject and subject matter. In these images Will stands with the light meter, his posture gaze and facial expressions explicitly make reference to our relationship and reveal the complexity in separating subject matter from subject and the difficulties artists face with issues of exploitation and authorship.