Both a photograph and a sculpture, 11 is made on a single roll of commercially available photographic paper, one hundred feet long and thirty inches wide. Robertson makes her pictures using analog darkroom processes—combining and enlarging negatives, placing objects directly on the paper and then exposing them, dripping or painting chemicals onto the paper, and exposing it to colored gels (sometimes with a flashlight) and to other lights. The installation of 11 may vary; the print can be draped over walls or structures, piled up on itself, or suspended from the ceiling, possibilities limited only by the architecture and the properties of the photographic paper. In Robertson’s work, the materiality of photography is called into question, at a time when digital techniques are drastically changing the face of the medium.
Gallery label from XL: 19 New Acquisitions in Photography, May 10, 2013–January 6, 2014.