Washington University 1946 Track Six hurdlers are all airborne in a photo by my father from 1946. Each
athlete, or in one case, three of them, has been cropped from the full image and printed individually. Each sheet can be folded into a hyperbolic paraboloid, informally called a hypar, a surprisingly curved shape constructed from nested squares. Here the hypars are suspended, moving with the air currents.
This work continues my interest in how photographs incorporate time, the moment of exposure with the athletes all in the air, the moments of viewing – the photographer’s and subjects’ now, the viewers' now, the artist as an intermediary time machine. The source photograph was found recently with other slides from 1946 to 1957 – a lost family archive found as we emptied my deceased mother's apartment, a survivor of a nasty divorce. My father spoke with longing for his student days at W. U. – the image exudes youthful energy years after his death – as desaturated images, the people become ghosts in the light and dark of the hypar’s folds.
Like my other works, these are single sheets of paper, folded according to a set of rules that creates a three-dimensional object. Folding adds human touch to mechanical reproduction. Copies of the work are available for the viewer to take. The act of folding is centering, requiring patience, attention and caring, allowing the form to emerge. It invites the audience into an active intimacy, participating in creating the work.