Estrangement permeates photographer Sarah Fuller’s “You Will Want To Come Back” series. Encapsulating a bygone era of North American cities and towns that remain locked in postwar aesthetics, Fuller’s findings articulate a detached wonder over the deserted drive-ins along the highway and the outdated emblems still encased within functioning motels and diners.
Shooting with a 4 X 5 for both interior and exterior locations, Fuller draws out the moody void of the landscape. Frozen and isolated, old jukeboxes, glowing antlers, a diner booth, appears dreaming in a state of suspended nostalgia. It is however the borderless blank screens that glow a bright nothingness that captures the fantasy and the void. Aged and forgotten drive in screens radiate a longing from the middle of clearings worn brown and green. Like the diner vinyl seats populated with fake plastic bouquets, the screens show hints of past habitation that is at once fixed and always transient.
There are no individuals readily visible in the photographs, but the spaces are comfortable and saturated with active memories. It is in fact the solitary presence, most often conveyed through light, that grounds this series. Blown up to 40” X 50” and exhibited behind plexi, Fuller shares that these places turn into “a void of space that you have to almost literally step into.”
Currently completing an artist residency in Reykjavik for the month of April, 2008, Fuller has been working on a new series called “Dream Work.” Researching the dream state based on Jeff Warren’s “Head Trip,” Fuller has been recording the physical expression of anonymous sleepers through infrared & standard pinhole photography and matching them to their morning written text. The pinhole is left open to expose for the entire duration of sleep and there is a sense that something more than just time and light has been captured once the sleeper wakes and closes the shutter.
The next step of the project will involve collaborative research with the Dream and Nightmare Lab in Montreal's Sacré-Coeur Hospital. Tracing and matching each dream’s neurological pattern to the varying exposure time of pinhole, Fuller is at once researcher, artist and performer as she taps into capturing her own subconscious. Starting with the basic principle of what you look like when you dream, and Dali’s exercise of trying to catch a glimpse of himself as he began dreaming, Fuller is lending an artistic exploration into dream disturbances and how we physically as well as psychological emanate peace and anxiety. The early findings are rich in hue and tones, especially one self portrait taken on the Trans Canada Hwy, which at once sums up Fuller’s approach to life and to art in one majestic unfolding of time lapsed work.
Image credit: "The Golden Booth," Sarah Fuller, 2006.
Studio visited February 16, 2008