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Katie Shapiro (MFA 2015) is a master’s candidate in Photography at the University of California, Irvine. She received her BFA in Photography from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007 and is currently living and working in Los Angeles. Inspired by the feelings of confusion and displacement induced by medical tests, her current project There is ever anything conclusive, just an endless series of tests experiments with disorienting photograms and tactile, studio-based processes to confound the viewer and question the viewing experience.

Shapiro explains that the title of her series is taken from Lorrie Moore’s fictional book Self Help, which references the confusion and anxiety induced through medical testing. Grounded in the scientific aspects of photography, Shapiro’s works emerge as studio experiments using fracture and movement, inspired by these feelings of disorientation and misperception. She describes the evolution of her work as a desire to turn to something more tactile, working with mirroring, photograms, scanning, and the alchemic nature of the darkroom process. Ultimately, these unconventional methods aim “to warp, twist, and bewilder the viewing experience.”

The resulting images are indeed disorienting, seeming to fracture and buzz with a laboratory-like energy, bringing to mind notions of x-rays and medical equipment illumination. “The results of these photographic experiments are uncertain, yet I am driven by intuition and play,” writes Shapiro. “It’s integral to my practice. The immediacy involved in this process pushes the work forward into places I can’t predict.”

austerity

bluedrag

crackedbulb

filterquartz

heavenlydaze

printdrag

purplehaze

redstripedprism

rolypoly

serenemarine

themarriage

themountain

All images © Katie Shapiro

This post was contributed by photographer Acacia Johnson and her student photo blog, Onward Forward

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