As traditional methods of sharing one’s life have moved from printed images to social media posts, the photographic print has become extra baggage. When families and businesses downsize their personal belongings, much of what is cast off ends up orphaned in either trash bins or tag sales. These unidentified materials, separated from their original context, have become a springboard for new narratives. This ongoing series developed after reviewing purchases I had made from various tag sales in Danbury, CT.
Danbury was nicknamed the “Hat City” due to its prominent history in the American Men’s Hat Industry from the 19th through mid 20th centuries. What I found exciting while reviewing my purchases, was the relationship between various world cultures male headwear and American women’s millinery. As I began to review these photographs, I saw pairings (male/female) develop. These new pairings are both amusing and sexually charged. Besides the references in hat styles, there is a sexual tension in the gaze and pose not only between the photographs but also aimed at the viewer.
Since the originals are in such poor state, each was scanned and paired together digitally. I have kept the original staining and tears to reference each object’s current fragility. I want to reference aging as a fact of life (even with a photographic print) and as a tool of discovery.
As I continue to collect artifacts destined for trash bins, I am creating my own historical archive of analog photography and am reminded where my photography practice came from.