Focus on Vernacular: Maggie Callahan: Unknowingly and Everywhere
Some months ago, Lenscratch had a call for physically altered photographs which resulted in a wonderful exhibition, The Artist Intervenes, jurored by Adriene Hughes. One of the images in particular (see below), stood out to me for it’s whimsical and unique layering of found photographs and it sent me into a deep dive of the work of Maggie Callahan. Her work is intervention with a twist, a re-seeing with humor and wonder–there’s a bit of magic in her marriage of images. Her project title, Unknowingly and Everywhere, perfectly describes the plethora of family photographs that show us lives that are unknown, and when shifted slightly, perhaps reveal secrets.
Maggie Callahanis a photo-based artist living and working in Chattanooga, TN. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from Georgia State University in 2015. She’s shown work in galleries including, Slocumb Galleries, The Glass Gallery, MOCA GA, Mason Murer, MINT, Atlanta Photography Gallery, Tyler School of Art Galleries, and The Low Museum. She is currently the Secondary Markets and Technology Manager at Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta, GA. IG @maagggss
Unknowingly and Everywhere
Vintage photographs and postcards once made and shared as a way to preserve memories, inevitably seem to outlive their original function. A photograph that was once held by a loved one, is now found in a box selling for 50 cents. Postcards with their overreaching promise of exotic leisure sit stacked in piles. Unknowingly and Everywhere is a series compiled of reconstructed photographs and ephemera. Although there is minimal alteration to an image, the subject’s absence now becomes an important feature; a transition to a new identity filled with representation of place and allure.