Can things tell stories about themselves? If so, what stories do they tell? Colorado photographer Carol Golemboski explores this question in a series called Psychometry which will be at Pine Street Art Works in April and Healthy Living Natural Foods in May.
The series of black and white photographs explores
issues relating to anxiety, loss, and existential doubt. The term “psychometry”
refers to the pseudo-science of object reading, the purported psychic ability
to divine the history of objects through physical contact. Like amateur
psychometrists, viewers are invited to interpret arrangements of tarnished and
weathered objects, relying on the talismanic powers inherent in the vestiges of
human presence. These images suggest a world in which ordinary belongings
transcend their material nature to evoke the elusive presence of the
Golemboski is an assistant professor of photography at the University Of Colorado at Denver. Images from her Psychometry series have been published in notable photographic journals and magazines such as LensWork, Contact Sheet, Photo News, and AfterImage. Golemboski has been awarded numerous grants including individual artist fellowships from Center in Santa Fe New Mexico, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and Light Work.Describing her artistic process, Golemboski says:
“I infuse my images with
tension and mystery by combining photography with drawing, scratching the
negative, and incorporating text and photograms. The objects I
photograph, discovered in flea markets, auctions, estate sales, and antique
shops, have their own unknowable histories. They range from ordinary
items, such as doll houses, bird cages, and Christmas ornaments, to
symbolically charged objects that relate to the human figure, such as dress
forms, leg braces, and wigs. Once photographed, they form a visual language
that hints at the lives that once surrounded them. Ironically, these
metaphorical arrangements only reinforce the idea that the secrets of the past
are forever lost.
“The success of these images relies upon the viewer's expectation of truth in the photograph, expanding upon age-old darkroom "trickery" to suspend belief between fact and fiction. The romantic ideas suggested by these photographs are enhanced by the nostalgia that accompanies historic photographic imagery, the process of traditional printmaking, and the magic of the darkroom.
“Pervading the work is a sense of melancholy for the past, and a mounting dread that comes with the realization that our own stories will suffer the same fate. These images are designed to create a tension between beauty and decay that expresses anxiety over the passage of time, the inevitability of death, and a fascination with the unknown.”
Opening reception at Pine Street Art Works Friday April 2, between 5-8. Sad to say, the artist will not be in attendance. But a good time will be had by all.