Diane Meyer embroiders reality in search of truth
US photographer blurs the faces and locations in her photographs with embroidery to reveal hidden histories
It may look like Diane Meyer has blurred out the faces of the people in her Time Spent That Might Otherwise Be Forgotten series of photographs using a software programme but it's actually something quite the opposite. Meyer has actually enhanced her photographs with embroidery.
"This series is based on photographs taken at various points in my life and arranged by location," says Santa Monica-based Meyer. "Sections of the images have been obscured through a layer of embroidered pixels sewn directly into the photograph. The embroidery deteriorates sections of the original photograph forming a new pixelated layer of the original scene."
Through her photographs Meyer intends to highlight how snapshots of one moment in history can obscure the reality of the moments before and after, making the viewer overly nostalgic.
"The project refers to the failures of photography," Meyer continues. "In preserving experience and personal history as well as the means by which photographs become nostalgic objects that obscure objective understandings of the past."
Martin Parr hit upon a similar thing when he said: "Most family albums are a form of propaganda, where the family looks perfect and everyone is smiling: we try to create fabrications about who we are. But if you're doing a portrait of someone, ask them not to smile. You will get a much more dignified, interesting portrait."
Meyer's Berlin series has particular poignancy as she followed the former path of the Berlin wall and photographed locations where little sign of the divide remains, only subtle clues to its existence such as large gaps between buildings or defensive watch towers. The use of embroidery in Meyer's photographs reminds the viewer that there are hidden truths behind each image which have been left unsaid or intentionally ignored.You can see more of them at her site.