"A Younger Part of My Life" New Works by Geraldine Posner
"A Younger Part of My Life" New Works by Geraldine Posner is an installation featuring traditional black and white photographs. While the photographic work of my grandmother, Geraldine Posner, speaks of re-learning the playful aspects of life, the installation of the work investigates a reversal of roles and the ambiguity dealing with authorship of images.
For this body of work, I had the pleasure of reversing roles with my grandmother and gaining an appreciation for one another's application of the photographic medium. My grandmother's background in photography is much of the fuel motivating my pursuit of this medium, but our experiences and use with the medium, are of major contrast. Geraldine began her use of photography in order to learn a trade, further herself and earn a living for her family. From her first job working in a photography lab to being stationed at the Photo Science Laboratory in Washington DC during World War II, much of her experiences with photography surrounded the aspect of production (printing), rather than creation (shooting). Also, during these times, photography was predominantly used for purposes of documentation or development of visual aids. Rather than using photography to document, I primarily focus on creation with my work. I use photography purely as a tool of self expression, in order to create art. This notion of photography as art is something that developed after the start of my grandmother's career as a photographer. For Geraldine, this project established the opportunity to experience what it is to be a photographic artist and allowed me the chance to take on the anonymous role of printer, as she had during her times in the darkroom.
To create this work I traveled to Florida to spend four days with my 89 year-old grandmother, where during this time, she exposed ten rolls of film for the purpose of this gallery installation. Knowing the use of these images and their instant importance and publicity, allowed her to come to understand the pressure often felt by exhibiting artists. After our time together, I assumed her past roll of producer by developing, curating and printing these playful images. Although I manage these tasks for myself as a creator, I have never done so without being able to accept the credit. This brings into question the vagueness of the authorship of imagery. Who deserves the credit and gratification for something that was orchestrated by more than one person? As the mastermind of this installation and merely the printer of the images, do I take credit for the stunning photographs you see before you or shall we place the acknowledgment where it's due?.... Congratulations Geraldine!