The world thus appears to be a complicated tissue of events in which connections of different kinds alternate, overlap or combine and thereby determine the texture of the whole. All phenomena are processes, connections, all is in flux, and at moments this flux is visible.
- Peter Mattiessen
Artist Statement for the Transitory Space series
The Transitory Space series deals with urban and natural locations that are transforming due to the passage of time, altered natural conditions and a continual human imprint. In everyone and in everything there are daily changes and this series articulates fluctuation in the photographic image and captures movement through time and space.
Transitory spaces have a messy human energy that is perpetually in the present yet continually altering. They are endlessly interesting, alive places where there is a great deal of beauty and fragility. They are temporary monuments to the ephemeral nature of existence.
More by Leah Oates on the "Transitory Space" series:
Humans leave traces and artifacts of our consciousness everywhere in our environment. Contradictory realities can be found co-existing wherever we look. They’re in what we choose to think; what we choose to believe; and, how we choose to act. And, they can be found in what we choose to observe.
When I look back on a moment it’s full of impressions and multiple exposures capture this. I make multiple exposures on specific frames in camera which allows me to display a more complete correlation of experiences that a single exposure just misses.
Every moment captured on film is over as soon as the shutter clicks, recording the ephemeral. Yet, in reality, there is always a visual cacophony of experience. We are always living in many realities at once. Multiple exposures express the way we experience the world more accurately.
Time is layered and not frozen into one single moment. Photography is directly connected to time as the camera shoots in fractions of a second. Time is always slipping and fracturing from the present, past and future. We are often living in all these levels at once. But when we’re not, we experience flow—or an absence of time. Multiple exposures are close to the experience of “flow.” When I look at a moment in time I “feel” more than can be recorded with a simple click of the shutter. I use multiple exposures on film to record a more accurate picture of how we can recall time transpiring.
A selection of writing on the "Transitory Space" series:
By Monika Sosnowski
The Transitory Space series is a search for space that resonates with a past and exists in spite of what has been imposed upon it. To a certain degree Leah's work tells of an acceptance of circumstances that continue to shift and change. Often by double exposing negatives Leah fuses natural and man made landscape into a mutant form. The layered and fragmented landscape in Leah’s photographs brings an element of chance and with it a disquieting transientness. Inherently, Leah’s work contains a subtle commentary on the effects that human consumption has on nature while at the same time postulating a subversive kind of beauty.
From An Introduction to Representations of the Horror Vacui, By Gregory Minissale.For Drain Online Magazine of Arts and Culture 2007, http://www.drainmag.com/
Leah Oates’s photographs of Transitory Spaces, articulate the amassed banality of the trace and by-products from social processes and consumption. The patterns in this underworld are parts of a map of history outside of the frame, seemingly infinite in its unstoppable self-reproduction, extensive in all domains of human action and spatial potential, and reflected equally in the detritus it leaves behind, traces of personality, micro-movements of identity, and configurations of anonymity. In an asphyxiation of content by form, the photograph literally squeezes out space to imitate the squeezing out of human figures, and of the processes that create this waste. This is both the utter fullness of the sign (the lack of space in the representation) as it tracks the utter fullness of the signified (infinite and bottomless waste), leaving no space in-between sign or signified.
The outside of the photograph is the “everything else place” from whence the waste comes, the everyday processes of our gargantuan appetites and our lives. The photograph blots out the past that it represents by deluding us that it is the present. Yet this photography is more than representation and illustration, it is also in a sense, an actualization of recycling, creating new matter from old, and recycling the past. It also transposes the cycle of consumption to the process of visual consumption, recycling the real and marginalized, the out of sight and out of mind into a recombinant aesthetics.