Rita Maas Statement
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Artist Statement
20th Century Plastics

The images in this series resemble gestural abstract paintings while clearly being something else. Driven by entropic forces, pictures once fixed within long forgotten large format commercial transparencies dissolve and morph into abstract imagery. During years of neglect layers of dyes, trapped in plastic storage sleeves, were released and left to freely comingle leaving behind formless stains. Alchemic in character, what once was is seemingly transformed into something else by forces of nature and time. These objects, for me, while radically changed in their appearance are, in some ways, the same as they ever were - dyes suspended in gelatin emulsion on celluloid. The plastic sleeves take on traces and imprints of the content they once protected.

The camera is used as an indexical tool to inventory these decayed relics from the medium’s own history. Their ghostly surfaces evoke the erasure of both the images they once held as well as the means, materials and methods of their depiction. In re-photographing these objects I continue my pursuit in examining the gap between abstract and representational depiction.