Christine Elfman’s photographs embody the temporal wane of objects, images, and memory. Color slips from the surface of paper, subjects become shadows, recognition fades into lore. Using the anthotype process, her images develop slowly: sitting outside for a month, the sun bleaches paper saturated with light-sensitive plant dyes.
Once complete, these photographs will continue to fade from the light that allows them to be seen. When paired with fixed silver gelatin prints, these images emphasize a tension between the archival impulse and ephemerality of photography and the subjects themselves.
Over time, objects and images become evidence of nothing but the impossible desire for permanence.
Emphasizing the tension between recognition and entropy, the works offer a rare opportunity to witness the constant cycle of growth and decay, as the images are continuously made anew as they decline. While the gaze of the viewer witnesses the gradual destruction of the image, the photographs begin to mimic the shape-shifting apparitions of recollection and reminiscence.