The photographs in this series were taken around the urban landscape and later buried there. Distilled over lengthy durations, these film transparencies interact with minerals and humidity of the soil to decay, transform and mutate over time. Once the film has been excavated, it is carefully washed in rainwater and left to dry in the sun. The film eventually attracts insects and bacteria, which eat away the image into material abstraction, demolishing the pictorial, and freeing the photo-object from the burden of depiction. Through collaboration with the landscape, Fossils attempts to describe the inherent disorder, chaos, turmoil and beauty of nature; qualities reflected formally in the colors, shapes, and texture of the work itself.
All images courtesy Vivian Cooper Smith