With Search Light, Hammond extends her use of the photographic medium, utilizing it to probe into fictive and imaginative realms.
In the large gallery, Hammond’s “Dazzle paintings” are juxtaposed with 3-D silver-leaf drawings from her Results of a Search series. The “Dazzle paintings” – titled for the materials used and the phenomena that ensue – present images derived from vernacular photographs. Hammond paints the images on a surface of mica sheets infused with metal leaf with a topography of reflective materials beneath. At the heart of Hammond’s “Dazzle paintings” lay notions of conditionality and interactivity. Each painting responds to the particularities of its lighting and environment. The paintings change and a dazzling effect ensues as the viewer moves before them; the found snapshot is infused with a new life.
Similar in concept, Hammond’s Results of a Search series celebrates the exuberant abundance of Internet collecting while embracing the anomalies and surprises of the search itself. For each drawing, Hammond conducts an Internet search for families of mathematical information during the course of which anomalies enter. The artistic process embraces the impurity of Internet searching. Suspended from a three-dimensional armature of her own construction, Hammond’s images are activated as the viewer passes. Their faceted surfaces create an effect similar to that of her “Dazzle paintings."
On view in the small gallery are Hammond’s black-and-white, silver gelatin photographs printed in her largest scale to date: 16 x 20 inches. For each photograph, Hammond digitally builds a new reality, deconstructing, manipulating, and recombining found photographs as well as her own. This creates an imaginary ensemble of the familiar, creating fiction from fact, which Hammond describes as, “stills from a movie in my head.” For instance, an image of a woman who was on the beach in California in the fifties is now seen dancing in an explosion in New Jersey, wearing a dress that Hammond made. The narratives of her collaged photographs often are imbued with a sense of humor, irony, darkness or eroticism. Together, Hammond’s “Dazzle paintings”, Results of a Search series, and photographs create a unique place at the intersection of visual culture and the human imagination.