lone hunter is a book and series of photographs. The corresponding images and text teeter between fact and fiction, creating a non-linear narrative. The selection of images when shown independently as a book or series, represents two different narratives that question the chronology of time and how we navigate memory, what we choose to keep and what we let go of, and how memories are manufactured. These images deliberately blur time and place taking the viewer/reader from day to night, over a month and through seasons, the moon as the guide, marking time.
lone hunter is informed by my interest in cinema and its relationship to photography. The body of work consists of a combination of photographs of actual natural landscapes (forest, sea, desert), architecture (interior /exterior of a house) and people (two different figures) as well as hand-made, fabricated environments (architecture and landscape). Some photographs are from my personal archive, others were shot specifically for the series. Text, non-descriptive and poetic, is a thread throughout the book almost as if an internal voice is guiding the reader on this journey, for example, “There in the vista, I can find you, hunting by the light”.
The letter below is meant for you.
Dear Reader, are you waning or waxing? You may feel as if you are traveling somewhat aimlessly in search of something, at times relying on the moon to guide your path. But our path, like that of the moon, is cyclical. You may find yourself in interior spaces peering through winter’s frosted windows that obstruct your view of what’s outside. The woods. A voice tells you “we shall leave this to time and chance”. Time moves on, as time will do. An unmade bed. “A trace that crosses the fault line”—did we lay here together? Did I dream of that cratered and pitted, dusty walk in the prickly desert of spring, you moving farther away in the distance? Why haven’t you turned back for me yet? Or is it centripetal force that keeps you there and me here, always in your orbit? The moon shows its same face, over and over, at times more illuminating than others. Slowly moving away from us, ever so slightly, with each rotation.
Light transforms space. In what light will I choose to remember this? There I am, turning away from you. We will cross paths again in the shadow of a gibbous moon in summertime, “as if it was to become a long, dark night.” I, like a pendulum—a glimpse of cheek, lips, and chin—oscillating in the darkness. Walk away. But know this: I will leave you first. Blurry eyed and sleepy, I move in the direction that leads to the sea. “There in the vista, I can find you, hunting by the light.” Prowling, shape-shifting, “as if there was some urgency”. Have we mistaken these shadows for the real thing?
In the small hours, the hovering moon discovers you swimming. The tides are turning. “Luminously.” You surface, submerge, surface, submerge, surface…. “We were surveying, searching, measuring of sorts”. The night sky eavesdropping, holds more of this story but allows nothing for us to hear.
Back to the dense forest of pines. Now, we are facing each other. Is it dawn or maybe dusk? “Imagine retracing our steps, to be born here and glide along with patience.”
Tell me, are you a lone hunter?
Julianna Foster is currently an assistant professor in the Photography program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She received a BFA in Design from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2001) and an MFA in Book Arts + Printmaking from the University of the Arts (2006) and was an artist member of Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia from 2006 to 2013.
Selected Solo exhibitions in Philadelphia in addition to Vox Populi Gallery include Philadelphia Art Alliance, Painted Bride Art Center, Fleisher Art Memorial (2013 Wind Challenge recipient), Gravy Studio and Gallery and Black Oak House. Selected group exhibitions include The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA; University of Delaware, Newark, DE; Front Gallery/New Orleans; Newspace Center for Photography/Portland, OR; Power Plant Gallery/ Durham, NC; Abington Art Center/Abington, PA; Main Line Art Center/Haverford, PA; and Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art/Winston-Salem, NC. Other projects/publications include work in Conveyor magazine, Proof magazine, Cleaver magazine, Good Game magazine, international group exhibitions in England, Romania, Spain, Korea and Bulgaria. Foster’s work is featured in private collections across the country and she has collaborated with various artists on projects that include creating artist multiples, artist books and series of photographs and videos.
Foster was a 2014 artist in residence at the Philadelphia Photo Art, 2016/2017 finalist at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia, 2017/2018 Community Supported Artist, a project organized by Grizzly Grizzly Gallery. Upcoming publications (Summer 2018) include work in Constructed: The Contemporary History of the Constructed Image in Photography since 1990 published by Routledge.
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