It’s time for our September Member Showcase. This month, we are shining the light on Neil Berkowitz, a PCNW Member since 2014 who explores place identity through his images.
Neil Berkowitz – Member since 2014
What are you working on?
Although I continue to produce other new work, such as the individual pieces that I am submitting this month (all from this summer), I am currently pursuing two major projects. The one that I will mention now is “Neither Here nor There,” which continues a two year exploration of place identity. The single, large work (17″ x 137″) in my project is a continuous photographic print. It is composed of six side by side elements, each of which is composed of three or four photographic layers. that connects my home city with 13 other places in six countries. The fact that five of the component elements include layers involving museums is intended to suggest that art, too, offers pathways to peace. All components feature the same base layer, from Seattle, that serves as a lateral roadway between them. Should I be able to secure funding to do so, my ideal presentation of this work would be as a closed loop, 17″ high and 49″ in diameter, mounted on a column or pedestal.
Much of my recent work reflects my interest in applying digital precision to the traditional technique of multiple exposure in an effort to produce work that builds upon the way that individuals process experience by connecting different moments and experiences into understanding, situating, and remembering their lives and surroundings.
I value multiple layered works for reasons beyond its connection to a traditional yet marginal technique and the similarity of the process to the way we grasp our experiences. There is a tremendous range of aesthetic possibility in the blending of layers, yielding transparency, texture, and color that would be unattainable in most single-layered work. Employing this process also inserts a particular intentionality into the photographer’s creative process that now enters earlier and in a less response-based way than is usual with photography.
It is the liberty of this process that makes viewers question whether the works are photography. For me, the answer is clearly, yes, they are. They are captured light and form. They begin with a camera and end with a digital darkroom process that utilizes digital equivalents of what I used to do in the darkroom–but with greater precision and power. And as with the powerful reportage photography that I grew up admiring, they ask us to observe and to make sense of what is around us with greater attentiveness.
To learn more about Neil’s photography, click here.
We send a big thank you to Neil for submitting his work this month! If you’re a member of PCNW and would like to share your creative endeavors, we’d love to hear from you. Complete our online form by the 15th of every month and a jury will review your work for consideration. Not a PCNW Member yet? You can join online today!