Inheritance by Tyler Matheson
By treating family photographs like ethnographic artifacts, I investigate my personal history through documenting them through the camera-less techniques of the cyanotype. By investigating I mean to try to understand the emotional and physically disassociation I feel towards my own family.
Cyanotype was and is used as a way to document and catalogue botanical specimens.
It is a chemical process that creates a photosensitive emulsion on the surface of a material. By exposing objects on-top of your material to light, you are left with a negative of that object.
In my case I have made negatives from existing family photographs and exposed them on paper emulsion, leaving a positive of that image.
This process is reminiscent of the idea of inheritance from descendants. Through my work, I look to investigate memory and a feeling of emotional turmoil I feel towards my extended family. I create a duplicate positive (cyanotype) from negatives of family photographs. The process reflects the act of being exposed to and absorbing traits or characteristics from your kin. Along with a personal struggle with identity and internalized homophobia. In part, this exhibition is influenced by an urge to seek reconciliation with the emotional trauma and conflict of being psychologically hurt by your family subconsciously.