+ On the Process
“I saw human brokenness in Cellar Dweller, a savage corporal nature overlaid with a transfixing beat, color waves and thick distortions. To me, it was questioning some of the worst parts of social media, a banal existence on Instagram obsessed with our perceived excrescences and a compulsion to cut them out of our bodies to appear more desirable. I wanted to create work that would illustrate a meditative counterpoint to the video in terms of muted colors and analog methods, but tie them together with the common contemplation of brokenness, life and death, themes throughout the video.
At the root of our existence, before life begins, before fertilization, an egg rests within the body. It is, at that moment, whole and waiting. Even when crushed and left out to the elements, the egg can take on beautiful forms, forced out of its fragile shell. We too are often broken and exposed to the reality of our existence. ‘I know I’ll die. Hello I’m human.’ These are the facts, the ultimate duality of life and death.
For my response, I broke eggs open onto photographic paper and exposed them to sunlight, creating lumen prints with their sera and shells. I documented the process of their exposure, of the light penetrating the eggs, leaving behind their impressions on the paper. I then edited the images into a silent one minute sequence, fading in and out between the exposure images and the final prints, a repeating Rorschach test. These images are of the space in between two ends of the spectrum, life and death, a ghostly illumination of organic material, temporal and decomposing.”
+ On the Whole
"What stood out to me in Path B was how Wylie and I both responded with organic shapes and light-focused work— the beginning and end of the path. Even though the path encompassed different translations of response along the way, it was bookended by that common element of organic light.
Both paths represented the body in a way that surprised me. It was a common theme throughout, and it made me wonder about that stream of consciousness that connects us and allows us to go deeper. Is it the body that roots us in our existence and that’s why we all related to it in some way? The body is what we know; a tangible form of the everyday, lived, real experience that we can’t escape until death. It’s how we move through this world. I thought it was remarkable that this theme brought both paths together in a way, through all the different perspectives that were shared.
Seeing it all together is a reminder to me of how all of our brains work in amazing ways to develop responses based on our talents and experience of life, merging and diverting into distinct voices."
Born in Morgantown, WV and raised in Southwest Pennsylvania, Renee Greenelee began working as a non-profit administrator in 2006 after receiving her Masters degrees in both Communication and Theology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. She lived in Pittsburgh for 11 years, creating and managing programs for low-income communities, as well as photographing the people and places impacted by these services. In 2015, she completed the Photography Intensive Program at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and made a shift toward making work and teaching photography full-time. She now lives in Burlington, VT and is a teaching artist through Burlington City Arts. She envisions the practice of photography as a means of communication; a dialogue between light, memory and the meaning of making an image.