The set-up involves three different cameras, but there is no film in the first two cameras—they function as viewing devices. First, I set up a large-format (4 X 5 inch) camera on a tripod in front of the diorama. Then, I hold a Hasselblad camera in front of the viewfinder of the first camera so that I can see what “it” is seeing-in other words it is once removed from the diorama, which immediately makes the scene itself appear more two-dimensional. The target feature of the Hasselblad viewfinder is visible at this stage. The crosshairs makes me feel like a hunter, and I wanted that element to remain as part of the final photograph. Thus, I then add a third camera that “looks into” the Hasselblad’s viewfinder (located on top of the camera.). I am much more committed to creating an alternate fantasy, as you so well put it, and making the images my own. When was in art school, training to be an abstract painter, I was always wary of photography. One example of a fictive environment is a movie set, which is often an otherwise lot designed and propped to look like a real place or, more recently, a scene that has been digitally conceived and produced. he Hasselblad’s viewfinder might be read as a target, hinting at the omitted focal point of the diorama. The crosshairs also signal immediately that this is a photograph—an appropriated (if manipulated) image of an existing model. Also, conceptually speaking, the large-format camera allows me to delve deeper into the complex duality—Nnature vs. Aart—that the dioramas embody. By playing with depth of field and focus, I can enhance the flatness of the image in a way that recalls Romantic landscape paintings. And indeed, since part of each photographed scene is a painting, my photographs play with the idea of medium specificity.
Artist Bio / CV
Virginia Inés Vergara was born and raised in NYC. After receiving her
BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA in photography from
Hunter College, she has maintained a studio practice in Brooklyn. Her
photographic work embodies meditations on light, perception and
proximity. Her work is included in numerous private European and