Eliza French and Jeff Charbonneau
continuing to look at West Coast photographers…
‘Massillon’ is a collaborative project by photographers, Jeff Charbonneau and Eliza French. These staged photographs use feminine symbols of domestic and fantasy life to create imagery that is caught between dreams and a gothic fairy tale. Using traditional processes, the images are printed in the wet darkroom, where textures and tones are achieved through a variety of experiemental processes. Eliza and Jeff met in the darkroom in 2004, where they were pursuing their individual visions. “Our work is the culmination of an artistic process that thrives on duality, and equal measures of strategic foresight, and happy accident.” Both photographers have additional talents, Jeff as an Emmy winning music editor, and Eliza (known as Elk for this purpose), as one of the most brilliant and creative curators in Los Angeles, producing innovative art exhibitions that combine sensibilities and styles.
“Drawing our subjects directly from childhood reminiscence, old family folklore, dreamstates, or a combination thereof, our path to a final image is a mediation on memory, and how it functions through us, and between us. By the act of transforming a memory from our childhood, or from a dream, into matter, we ask, what about the memory itself is altered? How does memory manifest itself through the new object? How is it condensed? Does it play a role in the formation of identities? What symbols and landscapes does it attach itself to? By using a camera are we emulating the process of memory, or introducing an element of duplicity?”
Jeff and Eliza’s work can be seen at the Incognito Benefit at the Santa Monica Museum of Art May 2nd and in the Art of Caring at the New Orleans Museum of Art, May 16 – October 19th. This group exhibition including work by Sally Mann, Larry Sultan, Annie Leibowitz, Nan Goldin and others.
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