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Juan Fernandez

Line, Shape, Form, Repeat

The 11x14” camera from the Slemmons Camera Archive has seen many spectacles in its one hundred year life span. It likely began life making studio portraits or landscape images of a world now foreign to us. This project is an attempt to bridge traditional analog making with the certainty and control of modern technology.

Line, Shape, Form, Repeat is an attempt to create something the camera hadn’t seen before. Basic elements of design are fascinating. They connect and transcend multiple cultures and civilizations, and are used to communicate the simplest or most complex of messages.

Since the days of a single finger dragging along the dirt, the line or mark has been core to the concept of communication. A mark is a single movement that is intended to illustrate a thought, photographically speaking, this project uses it to build the exposure of light in certain areas of the image. This project explored simple shapes and marks through photography. The use of in-camera masks, long exposures, and multiple exposures created an unlimited field of possible compositions.

Ultimately, the results are a combination of modern technology (laser cut masks and 3D printed film holders) with the traditional techniques of the analog darkroom (multiple exposure and painting with light). The binding ingredient was the choreographed process that was born from experimentation. Each exposure required the loading of different masks while light painting a wall with a flashlight. Another element was added by including a series of parallel lines that would serve as a rudimentary mark for certain compositions.

Waterfalls from Still, Moving Moving, Still, 2-minute video loop projection inside Radio Opticon, 2021.
Portrait of the artist

Juan Fernandez

Juan Fernandez is an artist based in Elgin, IL. He is currently the Director of Art and Design and Gallery Curator for Elgin Community College. As an art educator he has taught at numerous regional colleges and universities. His work references the perceptions of form, structure, and order in common materials and subject matter. His photographs are in the collection of Columbia College Chicago, the Rockford Art Museum, The Center for Photography atWoodstock, and in The Midwest Photographers Project at The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, IL.

He has also been exhibited in numerous national and international shows including theCatherine Edelman Gallery, Rockford Art Museum, Boecker Contemporary in Heidelberg, Germany, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, the Griffin Museum of Photography, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Angelika Studios in Buckinghamshire, England, and The Houston Center for Photography.

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