Born and raised in New Hampshire, for most of her life Madison Madore has had a camera in her hands. After receiving a hand-me down 35mm film camera as a child, she has been working primarily in film, both 35mm and 4×5 large format. She’s heavily inspired by the history of photography and the slow workflow of analog, darkroom, and alternative processes. Now a BFA candidate at the University of New Hampshire, she is expected to graduate this May, with a concentration in Photography. In her time at UNH, Madison has spent two years completing a Visual Resource Center Fellowship, three years working in the digital labs and darkroom, was invited to spend two summers learning from photographers at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Aspen, and exhibited work locally.
Besides her work in photography, Madison has also developed a love for sculpture over her years here at UNH, and hopes to continue exploring both mediums after graduation.
As a photographer, I have always been fascinated with analog and darkroom practices, in particular 35mm and large format black and white film. This slower workflow has allowed me to consider my process more carefully, and be more thoughtful about the subjects I shoot and how I spend my time making art. This love for a slow methodical way of working led me into alternative processing and printing, and I as began my thesis working with cyanotype.
I have been exploring this way of printing, and how to merge the new visual language of digital photography with historic practices. Using videos curated from my social media, text messages, and cell phone camera roll, I began to deconstruct and rebuild these videos into something new. Making digital negatives of every frame in each video, I printed these photos in the darkroom, scanned them digitally, and reconstructed them back into videos. Systematically breaking each one down to a series of images and transforming the original content. Spending time considering each frame as an individual image, and as a whole, I wanted to explore the different ways we could interact with and view these videos.
The cyanotype process lends a painterly and nostalgic tone to these short moments, it distances them from the cell phone snapshot and asks you to spend more time considering it. This allows the viewer to find the beauty in these small endlessly looping moments most of us record daily but get lost in the digital landscape of our lives. None of these videos were taken with a deliberate intention of becoming art. Without asking myself to consider them more carefully, they would have stayed buried in my cell phone camera roll, as thousands of videos and images still are. Transforming them through this very hands-on and somewhat obsessive process and displaying them in a way so far removed from the original context I hope allows people to live in and relate to these videos with a sense of nostalgia and memory, and begin to consider their own digital communication and way of viewing the world through media. In a society where we have all become photographers, with an over-saturation of photography and video in all of our lives, I want to explore how process blurs the line between art and communication, and how to slow down and find the preciousness in our digital memories.
A note from the artist in wake of COVID-19
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, my thesis exhibition has been put on hold for the indefinite future. The original intention of this body of work was as an installation piece. Scale, presentation, and the physicality of the pieces are all important to the experience of the work
Having no other option than to adjust to the current reality of our world, I have created a virtual gallery to conceptualize the future installation of this body of work. I will continue to add to this project after my graduation and hope to see it in physical space soon. there is always more work to be done and more art to be made, and I am excited to see where the future takes me.
I have also included a series of self-portraits, let these stands as a record of this unusual end to my college career, and a goodbye to the spaces I called home.