Photographing the Unphotographable: John Divola's Cibachrome Prints
As we've begun to hunker down over the last week we've been looking for things to help describe this strange new reality we're entering into. Photographer and visual artist John Divola has spent his career exploring the edge between the abstract and the specific, a place that feels fitting right now. His new book, Chroma, reveals a body of work from around 1980 in which he tried to make pictures about things that you can't photograph: "Gravity, Magnetism, which way water drains, and the things I see when I press my eyes with the palms of my hands."
"All of these images required the construction of some kind of visual metaphor," he tells David Campany in an interview. "I had become aware that the early C-type color prints faded badly and was trying to use a new, more stable material. This was Cibachrome, which printed from transparencies. It was very industrial and artificial, with deep color saturation and contrast. It was a very flawed material for conventional images but with unique properties that I ended up embracing for the Chroma images."
Chroma is published by Skinnerboox.