Draw Blood for Proof.
Photographs by Mario Sorrenti.
steidldangin, 2013. 336 pp., 155 color photographs, 11½x18½".
Initially conceived as a personal project on the walls of Sorrenti's New York loft, the material in Draw Blood for Proof eventually found its way onto gallery walls as a large-scale installation piece in 2004. Papering the site from floor to ceiling with layers of collected snapshots, contact sheets, prints, Polaroids and ephemera drawn from over fifteen years of work, Sorrenti's collection was a unique look into the artist's diaristic creative process, going beyond ideas of public and private production.
Re-photographed as a series of 8x10 Polaroids and reconstituted here, Sorrenti's montage finds yet another incarnation in book form. Here the images are both documentation and personal exploration, and the layout repositions Sorrenti's photographs in a series faithful to their placement on the walls of the gallery. This gives the viewer a sense of the raw impact of the original installation but also creates new visual relationships between images as they move across spreads, redefining themselves and one another on the pages. Images obscured in one layout may appear fully and with renewed force on the next. The result is a free-associative experience like memory or dreams, rooted in Sorrenti's methods but drawing on his cache of personal associations, and the act of perception becomes part of the work.