Juan Fernandez: Line, Shape, Form, Repeat

Opening: Saturday, Mar 26, 2022 6 – 9 pm
Saturday, Mar 26 – May 7, 2022

201 S. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608

In Line, Shape, Form, Repeat, Juan Fernandez uses an 11” x 14” camera from the Slemmons Camera Archive as a bridge between traditional analog making and modern technology. This antique camera has witnessed many spectacles in its one-hundred year life span, and this project is an attempt to create something the camera has never seen.

The basic elements of design can connect and transcend multiple cultures and civilizations and are used to communicate the simplest or most complex of messages. Since the days of a single finger dragging along the dirt, the line or mark has been core to the concept of communication. A mark is a single movement that is intended to illustrate a thought, photographically speaking; here, the mark is used to build the exposure of light in certain areas of the image. Each exposure required the loading of different masks while light painting a wall with a flashlight. Another element was added by including a series of parallel lines that would serve as a rudimentary mark for certain compositions. The use of in-camera masks, long exposures, and multiple exposures created an unlimited field of possible compositions.

Ultimately, the results are a combination of modern technology, such as laser cut masks and 3D printed film holders, with the traditional techniques of the analog darkroom, the use of multiple exposure and painting with light. The binding ingredient was this choreographed process born from experimentation, creating a project that explores simple shapes and marks in a meaningful way.