Double Exposures, Caught Looking

CahunMirror Harold Feinstein (American, b. 1931), Two Sailors on Subway, Coney Island, N.Y., 1947 Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), Nude Model (Male), 1977 -5   Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), Nude Model (Male), 1977 -4 Helmut Newton (Australian, b. Germany, 1920-2004), 16th Arrondissement, Paris, 1976  Elliot Erwitt (American, b. France 1928), Wilmington, North Carolina 1950Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), Nude Model (Male), 1977 -3

The flow of images streamed into and over other images to produce doubling combinations is not just a feature of the digital. Open the camera shutter more than once without advancing the film. Sandwich multiple negatives in the darkroom to make superimpositions. And—bam!—you have the encapsulation of multiple images into one frame that we call double exposures. But, as a pre-Photoshop trick, compositional strategy produces its own effects of double exposure.

Here the images and their figures are doubled by the shadows, mirror reflections, and the play of resemblances across the threshold of a doorway, through the pane of a shop window as well as from cheek to cheek. Each photograph doubles its exposures in the unfolding of a succession of spaces. Releasing the shutter of an apartment door starts to disclose the lighted interior intimated on the other side of its aperture. Shooting from this side of the partial barrier of a subway bench, through a glass window, or into a mirror opens the space of the shot onto the other side of the looking glass of the photograph. Close-ups that cut off parts of the bodies and acts on display insinuate dimensions beside those directly exposed to our view.

These double-edged photographs gather more than one point of view into the frame of their exposures. As doubles for the scene of our own looking, their exposures are not just of those bodies and spaces whose multiplied dimensions lure us into lingering to look closely—and look again. Their doubling exposures also cast the spotlight onto us. In the exposing charge of the glances and touch that relay between the doubled scenes of the photographs and viewing space of the gallery, we are caught looking.

 

Double Exposures, Caught Looking, installation shots © 2015 Natalie Kirk

Double Exposures, Caught Looking, installation shots © 2015 Natalie Kirk

Double Exposures, Caught Looking, installation shots © 2015 Natalie Kirk

Double Exposures, Caught Looking, installation shots © 2015 Natalie Kirk

Double Exposures, Caught Looking, installation shots © 2015 Natalie Kirk

Double Exposures, Caught Looking, installation shots © 2015 Natalie Kirk

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