James Welling - Glass House (2006-9)
“When Frank Lloyd Wright visited the Glass House, as Philip Johnson tells it, he was unsure whether he was inside or outside. He said that he didn’t know whether or not to take his hat off. Another quote by Johnson on the house: ‘Nature is the most expensive wallpaper.’ I think the greatest thing about the house is that you’re ‘inside’ once you step on the property. The Glass House is, in truth, a large structure of landscape architecture and a dozen buildings and sculptures.
In 2005, I started making multiple exposures using six filters (red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, yellow) for photographs I called ‘hexachromes’. These images recorded vibrantly colored shadows on succulents in my front yard.
I started shooting the Glass House in 2006 with the same filters I used for ‘hexachromes’, but that technique really depended on motion and shadows to produce multicolored images. Nothing moved over the three days, so I decided to hold the filters in front of the lens, sometimes in pairs. This is how I began to incorporate arbitrary colors into pictures of the Glass House. I went back seven more times over the following three years.
I’ve been using the word filter as a noun, but it’s also a verb. A filter lets some wavelengths of light through and certain kinds of information to seep in. In addition to colored filters, I used clear glass, clear plastic, fogged plastic, pieces of glass that were slightly uneven or tinted, and finally a diffraction filter that breaks light into spectrums. Now I bring everything with me when I shoot, but initially I introduced new filters one by one. When I realized I could make the grass red or make sun flares, splatters, and different types of visual activity in front of this supposedly transparent house, or box, the project became a laboratory for ideas about transparency, reflectivity, and color.”
- Overheard through Parsons finals (via ferveurfemme)
and it’s been raining ever since.