Artist Diary: Carrie Schneider brings analog photography into the digital age
Like many of us during the pandemic, Carrie Schneider (2015 Creative Capital Grantee) relied on her phone for community and inspiration in the face of isolation. Using a room-sized camera she built herself, Schneider exposed screen grabs of social media feeds, images from her private archive, and shots of historical art and cinema directly onto photo paper. The resulting images, showcased in her exhibition Sphinx at MASS MoCA, are intimate glimpses into an artist’s life in isolation. Working at night to avoid photo exposure from sunlight, Schneider’s process entails cutting photo paper from long rolls by touch alone, leaving the images unevenly cut. Her current body of work pushes the photographs more fully into the sculptural realm, as she works with rolls of uncut chromogenic paper hundreds of feet long, taking on the scale of the museum’s architecture. The exhibition culminates with a 16mm film that reanimates the photographs on view, exploring the feminine subject and the abstracting potential of the camera.
Creative Capital is proud to have funded the creation of new works in this exhibition. Read Carrie Schneider’s Artist Diary to learn more about how she approaches her practice and her advice for other artists, and catch Carrie Schneider: Sphinx at MASS MoCA through September 2023. More information here.
Sphinx shows over 4500 square feet of photographs I made over the last two and a half years. The processes and systems fueling the work mutated in the pandemic and grew into something new and totally surprising to me.
I applied for Creative Capital funding nearly ten years ago. The project has shifted and grown in ways I couldn’t have predicted, and I’m grateful for Creative Capital’s flexibility and continued support throughout this span of time.
It’s difficult to give advice, but I know for myself it’s been helpful to just be OK with making weird moves that might not make any sense to anyone else. That the new work might at first, or on the face of it, be unlike anything I’ve made previously. For me to be comfortable with that took some time. Maybe another way of saying this is that life is short, but the lifetime of my work is long. That eventually – maybe from some future bird’s eye view – the odd constellation made by my creative practice will come together to make a form that is, in the end, mine.
Watch a studio visit with Carrie Schneider below.