Mary Mattingly: What is Photography?

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Most immediately, photography to me is a record of a moment that has been able to enter a physical realm; a construction, fiction, fabrication, or truth, it represents what was (seen or unseen). It's a memory of, and an elemental story. I need it as it is a lens with which I can create worlds. Upon closer examination, photography connects me to complexities and contradictions of a life largely removed from the supply chains that make it up: full of toxicities that I usually do not readily see but may feel the aftermath of, the health impacts of, and the connection it has to mapping, colonization, militarization, and security. The medium slides precariously in and out of ethical arguments for and against: it at once can illuminate social injustices while simultaneously exaggerating them.

Mary Mattingly, visual artist

Photograph by © Cory Rice

What Is Photography? Let's Find Out!

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