Olivia Saporito

Olivia Saporito
Keeping-Arrangement & Viewing


This body of work remarks upon the objects which are used to encase and arrange family photographs or photographic objects. Family photographs tend to be viewed consistently over the course of a lifetime, which gives the imagery the ability to be memorialized in one’s mind as experiences themselves rather than prints in an album. Nonetheless, as the family photograph serves as documentation of deemed significant moments, the photographs or photographic objects tend to spend most of their lives inside albums, boxes or envelopes mostly unseen. I aim to construct the materiality of memory in viewing devices that distort imagery to bring attention to the ever-so-overlooked and generous viewing experiences one has in their daily life. In an interactive viewing encounter, Periscope Viewing Device requires the viewer to work in order to perceive, however, never quite receiving a satisfactory position to see both through the periscope and the images encased inside. Thus, both Periscope Viewing Device and Slide Display evoke a traveling translation of image organization and objecthood out of reach. At a time when I was unable to develop my final color 4×5 negatives, or have the metal shop to finish my pieces the way I intended, my concept had to be rematerialized, thus pushing my process into a different realm. But what has never changed is the core of my practice: the partnership between the family archive and ways of organizing and processing imagery through the mode of sculpture. Perceiving is a moment of processing; as one looks, whether that be through the structure of a camera or through the eyes, the brain scans and stores objects as imagery. As sculptural forms and objects for me serve to intensify imagery in the physical world, these mediums exist as one, as they do in the brain.

I would like to thank John Umphlett and Elizabeth White for their endless support.

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