Happy Time/Doomsday Time
Happy Time/Doomsday Time
November 4 – 25, 2022
Opening Reception: Friday, November 4, 5-8 pm
Sanitary Tortilla Factory is proud to present Happy Time/Doomsday Time by Meggan Gould. In the scope of the history of photography, the anthotype (flower print) figures as little more than a footnote, with a metaphorical pat on the head (endearing, though unlikely to mature!). Plant materials form the emulsions for this crude printing method: berries, petals, and leaves are crushed or pulverized to stain paper. Exposed though objects or printed material in a contact printing frame, sunlight slowly bleaches an image into existence on the dyed substrate.
As a process, this plant-based printing is both impossible to standardize for commercial distribution and unfixable—not one, but two death knells for an industrialized photographic practice. And a third: tedious exposure times make it impractical for most of the medium’s needs, as they have come to be understood.
As they have come to be understood. Our relationship to photography itself, to both the instantaneity of capture and any presumption of permanence, may need to change as we hover on the precipice of environmental catastrophe. Could the humble anthotype represent our future (gentle, fugitive) experience of photography? Can fading bring joy?
My current obsession focuses on a clock, mostly stuck at 10:10 – as in all watch/clock advertisement. This form of the hands allows the brand name to be framed, with the optimism of a subtle smile form (affectionately known as “Happy Time”). I am fascinated by the tropes of the photographic medium and the assumptions we make in its practice, the ways our vision is quietly mediated. My quest to push against default printing processes figures into the same conversation, for me, as that of this insidious clock time. The occasional Doomsday Clock image joins the mix, stuck ominously at 100 seconds to midnight.
Meggan Gould is a photographer living and working in the mountains outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of New Mexico. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied anthropology, the SALT Institute for Documentary Studies, where she studied non-fiction writing, and Speos (Paris Photographic Institute), where she finally began her studies in photography. She received an MFA in photography from the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth. Her photographs have been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally.