Thursday, November 16, 2017

URSP Student Waleska Solorzano Analyzes Photography through Philosophical Language

The analysis of the temporal dimension of photographs in “Photography as Time Travel” leads to my claim that photography is an uncanny version of time travel. I am analyzing photography through philosophical language. This project examines the ability of a photograph to stop time and motion while still appearing differently through time. I study the notion that photographs tell a story that can bridge the past, present, and future through the observation of the radical contingency of the photograph.

The aim of my project is not to measure the photograph to a past moment, but to what it is now disclosing. A photograph is a double of the person and/or place that is pictured and brought to the present. However, it is not the person or place it was in the past. This doubling effect is perceived and analyzed through photographs I have taken, which are the core of my project. My own photographic work will support the essays I am writing. Each essay will have its accompanying photograph or series of photographs. The essays and photographs will be compiled into a photography book. In my work I am referencing the writings of Roland Barthes, Plato, Martin Heidegger, and Sigmund Freud.

“Photography as Time Travel” was inspired from a combined passion of philosophy and photography. It all started with two questions: “what is time?” and “can photography serve as time travel?” I have been working on this project for over a year with Dr. Rachel Jones and Dr. Kurt Brandhorst from the Philosophy Department as my mentors. Their support and work on this project has kept it successfully evolving. All of the photographs for the project are ready for the book and I am now working on my final essay.

I have learned the importance of discipline and organization while engaging in this project. On a weekly basis I meet with my mentors to discuss and review drafts of my writing. Editing is a huge part of the process. I am also creating zines to be able to familiarize myself with my photographs on paper and how they work with the text. I am doing this to be able to create a creative book. Working on a project from its genesis is pertinent to me because my long term goal is to pursue a doctorate degree in philosophy. I am very interested in the field of aesthetics and visual culture for my future studies.