Artist's Statement

Amy Montali

Archival inkjet prints from 4"x5" color negative film, 30”x40” or 40”x50”

I learned to see in the San Francisco area where I was born and raised, but I left at 19 and never went back. The color and light of northern California informs my entire worldview, alternately illuminating and haunting my dreams.

This long-term project explores states of mind and emotion in relation to landscape and light. Working with friends and acquaintances, I invent pictures for the camera on site in real time, using the visual and psychological elements each situation provides.

Activities vary according to the interests and ideas of the participants; we loosely arrange the scenes. I look for elusive moments between the ordinary and the heroic, with innuendo of desire, transgression, guilt and redemption.

I use a large-format view camera and negative film, a slow and deliberate method of image-making. Individuals may pose briefly for each exposure, but none of the work is pre-conceived or staged in advance. Instead, we construct and deconstruct as we go, like actors or dancers developing new gestures or phrases.

I see these images as momentary displays, reflecting a sustained period of uncertainty. They are neither portraits nor documents; we are both nowhere and anywhere. The question looms: what now?