Photo / Process Works

The photo/process series is a group of related photographic works done from 1995 to 1996. Physically, these works are photographic images with thinly sliced sections of orange placed on selected areas of the pictures. This arrangement is permanently sealed and kept under compression by the glazing and frame of the work. The orange slices are allowed to interact over time with the surface chemistry of the photograph consuming and altering portions of the image.

The interaction of orange slices with these images investigate a complex array of symbols representing change including: metabolism as an energy system and as aesthetic or psychological ferment; the historic transformation and catalysis of the west by medieval Asiatic invaders, conquers from the land where the orange originated; corrosion and entropy as represented as a form of the sublime, anthropomorphised and expressed through images of warfare and spirituality.

The photo/orange slice works are related theoretically to a series of landscape furnace sculptures of the 1980’s and early 1990’s such as Wave Ship (of Fire), 1994, Untitled (Earth Orchid), 1989 and Metabolism and Mortality/O2, 1992. Through the use of fire as a process of nature, generated and contained by industrial technology, these pieces activated images associated with landscape, seascape, metabolic cycles, photosynthesis and fossil fuels in geologic and contemporary time. The sealed photo/orange slice pieces may be seen as an interiorization and exploration of systemic/psychic sites in human time paralleling the earlier environmental sculptures.


John Roloff 1995 (revised, 1999)