Darryl Baird

February 6, 1997 - March 1, 1997

Image © Darryl Baird

Image © Darryl Baird

Image © Darryl Baird

Image © Darryl Baird

Darryl Baird

If one of the great powers of photography is the staving off of loss…of places, persons, or times, then to transcend that loss is to remain connected to the essence of something (once) lost we (now) see in those images. But what is in those images- those photographs of importance to us? What is underneath the likeness of ancestors and loved ones; what is felt or unconsciously assumed when we look at these distant specters: is there a language in this photographic form? This is the most interesting question of all. This is where my work directs me.

Each day is another enmeshed with social images. Exploring the power and impact the images has become an obsession for me. I’m constantly alert, watching for new or emerging culturally-coded messages of consumption and assimilation -major forces within our society.

Understanding the power this imagery has in determining the sum of our self-image is fundamental to my conceptual position on art itself. If art (the practice of image making) is capable of shaping so much of our social activity, then art can also have a large role in understanding and critiquing these cogent images.

Any description of the work is somewhat inexact, but it’s essentially a digital, computer-arranged collage utilizing old family photos, original photographs, newspapers clippings, physical objects (scanned and) placed onto virtual surfaces, plus literary quotes, paper tears, burns, scribbles, etc. It’s complex at times, but speaks to the representative nature of photography; its power as an image creator; a purveyor of myths; and a construct for social management.

I purposefully raise issues of darker, less sublime aspects of the photographic medium, but (also) try not to answer, too neatly or at all, the questions provoked by these issues.