I have worked with art and photography for more than 30 years. I have behind me many exhibitions, a well-known name and an academic teaching carrier within the field of alternative photography. I believe that I have made a valuable contribution to the exploration and development of new techniques and new ideas within this one of the youngest forms of art.
Photographs are two-dimensional interpretations of the three-dimensional reality.
I have always wanted to bring new expressive, textural dimensions to photographs and explore a possibility of creating some new three-dimensional interpretations of the flat images.
By choosing old archive pictures and making new manual prints and interpretations of them I underline clearly that the subject and the equipment that have been originally used are not what is the most significant part in a photograph. Photography to me is more like music, where interpretation and performance of the original piece is what defines a new creation of art.
I have chosen to use just a few images made by a local Norwegian studio photographer and make them mine by creating a visual concert out of these few originals by playing around with sizes, colours and frames. […]
[…] I use manual processes, where application of liquid self-composed emulsions and process of exposure and development of each piece is what makes it special and unique, it is what makes it mine. In todays war for the copyrights in photography this is a revolution. In opposition to the art world obsessed with defining authorship I got the rights for use of the archive photographs and transformed these into new original works of art by declaring that I am neither an image-taker, nor a printer, but a free interpreter, a performer just as legitimate as a concert musician.
This form of photography, old photographic techniques like cyanotype blue and van dyke brown are the same ones that were used to make industrial blueprints and reproductions of drawings.
A photograph acquires meaning not just from its subject but from its framing, process, and deployment. I wanted to liberate photographs from limitations of frames, add textures and depth. The originals change so much, as the cyanotype or van dyke process add new textures and new dimensions to the subjects. Blue cyanotypes and brown van dykes on cotton, Chinese rice paper and silk are simultaneously interwoven, preventing any hard-and-fast interpretation. […]
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[…] Manikova is most concerned with exploring individual identity, she is an “expressionist,” a tendency that Pop artists thought photography would eliminate in favour of facts. Manikova is consequent in her approach. Each of her projects can be looked at as an attempt to create metaphors for experience using photography. In her work, the photographic image becomes the reference point for what is common to us all, the meeting point of artist and audience. […]
U.S.-based critic and author who writes on art and photography
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