Paulette Myers-Rich
Traffic Street Press
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The Quartet series are interactive artist photo-bookworks comprised of four 4x5” photogravure prints that have been divided from four 8x10” prints. The larger prints are references for assembly and can be joined to make a 16x20” panoramic image of the site. The viewer handles and repositions the 4x5” prints to either reassemble the larger images or create new arrangements. The various sizes of this work correspond to the dimensions of analog photography film and paper.


The prints are mounted on board and quartered– cut evenly and arbitrarily without regard to the composition of the image. Each of these cuts references the act of framing, yet the random result is contrary to the act of taking a photograph. When one is composing through the camera, many decisions are made. The selection process is deliberate or planned by the photographer and results in an aesthetic, as well as a representational, illustrative or documentary image. 


In viewing the quartet books, repositioning the quartered prints underscores the decision-making process inherent in analog photography. The variables are many and offer a multitude of possibilities. The quartered prints allow new, visually dynamic compositions removed from the logic of representation. They also offer a poetic connection with the ephemeral nature of the site as changes occur throughout the landscape over time.

Quartet #1 is an observation of the ground remediation following the demolition of the coal fired High Bridge Power Plant, photographed from the Smith Avenue High Bridge, 224 feet above the Upper Mississippi River in St. Paul, Minnesota on December 7, 2009. The verso of each quartered print contains one word of a four-word verse found on the verso of the 8x10” print. These can be arranged to make new combinations of images and verse according to the viewer’s responses.

Quartet #2 is from the River Reveal series; an observation of a site once lived and worked upon, then demolished- resulting in abandoned debris and rubbish mounds buried by leaves and river silt, overgrown with weeds and trees that is eventually exhumed by erosion caused by storms, floods and the wake of boats upon the Mississippi River at Lilydale, Minnesota. Revisited from time-to-time as the seasons changed, 2005-2007. These are double-sided prints that contain images of the same site taken over time.


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