Aissa Lopez

“My artistic research considers how the home, as the background, or set, for our everyday lives can become loaded with meaning. I am interested in the ability of places to retain memory and the stories we tell ourselves. The work is a reinterpretation of past places, a reconstruction, re-visualization and re-remembering of spaces known to me. The work utilizes the aesthetic and concepts of the uncanny to express how the familiar is inhabited by the unfamiliar, how the ordinary can be transformed into the unsettling, strange or eerie; how certain spaces can hold potentialities, a tension within/between an unknown activity. My work expresses a view of the uncanny as ambivalent in nature, it seduces not only repels.

Through my different photographic projects I am exploring our relationship with place; how this is constructed, be that through our culturally given notions or the personal psychological and embodied experience of the places we inhabit. I am reflecting on how past places loop over onto the present places we live in, how spaces can rub off on one another. How we carry our histories and stories of the spaces we live in with us, like ghosts.

An interest in how the photograph is can only be an impression, a translation of a past moment or an attempt at recreating reality is seen throughout my work. Though particularly evident in my current kodak brownie paper negative project, the choices to use paper as opposed to film, to have the camera hand held even though there is a long exposure time required, means the images are more abstract. They also become about the effort or action of taking the image. Having a contact print on fibre paper as the finished piece is essential to the work, due my interest in the materiality of the photograph- the image as an object.

These concerns are also found in my project photographing paper models, hand made and constructed from memory there is a failed attempt at mimesis; the images float between the actual and the imagined / remembered much like the photograph itself.

I graduated this May with a MFA in Photography from the Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg. I also have an MFA in Sculpture from NCAD, in my final year there I was awarded a Graduate Assistant position in Wet Photography, which involved looking after the analogue photography facilities, teaching students how to use the area and holding a number of pinhole photography workshops. I also taught a two week introduction to black and white photography to second year NCAD students in 2008.”

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