Untitled Us: A Photo Memoir

Untitled Us: A Photo Memoir will be the first book published by TROUBLEfilms, first as an ebook before going into print post-pandemic. The book is an abstract photo story featuring scans of Courtney’s own handmade photo magazines from grad school; so porn stills, documents of queer underground happenings, quick gasps of nature, and confessional self portraits.

“This is the biggest ongoing project I’ve been working on recently, my photo memoir. My interest in anti-archival memory and new narrative in grad school led me into a new way of seeing my personal photography work. Suddenly, snapshots become poetic, portraits become characters in a self-telling narrative and washing of color over a bedroom wall became self portraits. John Berger once said that a photograph is ambiguous without the photographer there to fill in the missing link. I’m responding to his critique by looking for the places where I feel the ambiguity of my own story as well as pushing how much I can tell about my life through photo memoir. For there are things I could never say out loud. It’s all inside.”


PROCESS

“Untitled Us” is a virtual archive of JPGs, from a box of hard drives, sorted into poems, printed in magazines like words or nothing like words, sometimes color, transmitted into a stack of pornographic magazines, discussed by artist, muse, curator, and critic, shown and handled by the public at Jessica Silverman’s Fused Space Gallery, placed in the corner hidden between white covers and white walls, re-archived in a cardboard box, scrambled, slept on, forgotten… recalled, relocated, digitally scanned into a virtual library of JPGs, to be released as a collection of scanned prints of digital photography in both digital and analog formats. This metamorphosis is “treat material as message;” identity is a distorted reality shifted through the constructs of time and space like a messy, magnificent, chaotic, and perfect turbulence unto itself.

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