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In its printed form this Artist's Statement is on 8-1/2 by 11 inch paper, with the two images beneath it on the same page.


Most of my works are structured as journeys, across space and through deepening states of awareness. Arguing against the reductive, object-worshipping nature of our culture, I use multiple images to encourage viewers to consider every object and every image within multiple frameworks. Each image interacts with all the others in terms of subject matter, composition, color, spatial aspects, and possible meanings. Juxtaposing photos with varying qualities is meant to lend expansiveness to the viewer's seeing, pointing the way out of the trap of each of our subjectivities.

Influences include Helen Levitt, whose diagonals open space; Gerhard Richter, who questions the truth of all imagery; great cinema, in which images combine to make distinctive architectures; the multiple connections between shots in the films of Peter Kubelka; architectural spaces from Chartres to Louis Kahn. My two principal masters are the painter Jan van Eyck, for his infusion of the seen world with a nearly spiritual sensuality, and the composer Johannes Ockeghem, for the ways in which his polyphony maintains several melodic lines simultaneously and without fusing.

In addition to aesthetic pleasure, my art has the underlying social goal of illuminating the value of looking beyond one's preconceptions, biases, desires, likes and dislikes. Presenting an object or locale from multiple perspectives connects with attempting to escape the self, to discover alternative visions, vast webs of possible interrelationships. We go profoundly wrong, individually and collectively, when we fail to see in terms other than our own, fail to imagine other possible worldviews. The joy of seeing lies in continually discovering additional ways to see.

Fred Camper
Chicago, Illinois
May 24, 2007.

  From Adjacencies 4: Brazil

Other Artist's Statements     Fred Camper art     Complete Fred Camper art