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To The River (2002, 2006, 2008) 

2009, Chromogenic Print, 36 x 46.5 inches


I have only what I remember deals with the influence of architectural space, photographic images and the elusiveness of memory. Augusta Wood's process for these photographs involves arranging many slide projections throughout the interior of the empty modernist home in upstate New York that her grandparents built in 1955. The work uses the architecture, photographic remnants of childhood and family, and images of her grandparents' ingenious but eclectic art collection including Francis Bacon, Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein, among others, to make a genealogical vision. The enormous slide archive from which she draws and further augments, traces the role of art, architecture, photography, and memory on multiple levels.

Wood's grandmother died in 1986. Her grandfather died in 2005. For three years after, their house stood vacant. In 2008, Wood spent a month alone in the empty home, sleeping on the floor by day and constructing photographs of her memories of this place by night. It was just her, five slide projectors, boxes of family Kodachromes, a tripod, her 4x5 camera, and fresh film. The architecture provided a stage for remapping her recollections back onto the living space itself. From the photographic record of her family’s history in this home, she hunted for slides that most closely aligned with the rooms as pictured in her mind. Wood selected portraits of family members, and photos of the original artworks that helped shape her understanding of figuration and abstraction. Using the mid 20th century mechanical process of Kodak Carousel projection, she cast multiple slides onto the vacant rooms. These arrangements collectively detail the inhabited spaces of this home as it looked over decades. The layering of projections, dating from the 1950s to the 2000s, produces spaces within spaces. Codes of time overlap in a kind of cinematic facsimile producing new views, which she photographs with her camera. The translation she is after is a photographic work that investigates the impacts and intersections of time, place, memory and the picture plane.