Keliy Anderson-Staley

August 2010

Keliy Anderson-Staley arrived in Syracuse with all the equipment and materials she needs for her work with the wet plate collodion process, the leading mode of photography in the 1850’s and 1860’s. During her residency, Anderson-Staley will create tintypes of Syracuse residents as part of her ongoing series, Americans. The artist will process the tintypes in our dedicated Artist-in-Residence black-and-white darkroom using chemistry hand-mixed from 19th-century formulas. She also plans to use a portion of her time to scan negatives from a variety of series of work using our high-resolution Imacon scanner.

Americans investigates the essence of photographic representation and how it has influenced and informed issues of cultural identity both historically and today. The wet plate collodion image captures a pose held over several seconds or even minutes. This prolonged gaze creates a tension between the sitter and the camera. While a snapshot captures a moment about a 1/1000 of a second long, the tintype process allows for a portrait to unfold over time; the image produced can then slow down our process of looking. As was the case in the 19th-century, the shoot becomes an event, a performance, in which the camera, the chemistry, the photographer and the model all come together to preserve a face for posterity.

If you are in the Syracuse area in August, Anderson-Staley invites you to have a tintype portrait taken at the Light Work/Community Darkrooms studio between August 5 and 28. Anderson-Staley will explain the process while producing the images and will send a digital scan of the portrait to each sitter who provides an email address. All are welcome, but appointments should be scheduled in advance with the artist at Sitters will be asked to sign a model release.

Keliy Anderson-Staley has a BA from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, and an MFA from Hunter College, NYC. Her work has been exhibited at California Museum of Photography, Riverside, Flomenhaft Gallery, NYC, The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA, and The Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY, among other venues. The exhibition Contemporary American Portraits: Abe Frajndlich, Eric Klemm, Mary Ellen Mark and Keliy Anderson-Staley opens January, 2010 at Focus Gallery, Cologne, Germany.