My work never directly addresses the literal subject matter of the photograph, but attempts to ask questions about vision itself.
I have never been interested in making a photograph that describes what the world I live in looks like, but I am interested in what pictures (of the world) look like.
I keep trying to find ways to shift the viewer’s attention away from the object they are looking at and toward their own perceptual process in relation to that object. The question for me always is: how can I make you aware of your own activity of looking, instead of losing your attention to thoughts about what it is that you are looking at?
Everything is pointing to one’s own activity of looking, to an awareness and sort of hyper-consciousness of visual perception. The only way I know how to invite this experience is by removing the other things (i.e., subject matter) for you to think about.
Specificity of time and place drop away and one starts to think about the picture, as much as what it is of.
I am interested in the conventions of picture-making, in the desire to picture the world and in our relationship, our continual love for and fascination with pictures.
We all expect photographs to be a picture of something. We assume that the photographer observed a place, a person, an event in the world, and wants to record it, point at it…The problem with my work is that these images are really not of anything in that sense, they register only that which is incidental and peripheral to the implied it.
When I was sixteen and knew nothing about art, I sat through almost six hours of Andy Warhol’s Empire. I did not understand it but thought: this is in a major museum, it must be important, what is going on here? I stayed until the museum closed. His Screen Test films are some of my favorite works made this century, but you need to give them back the time they took to be made.