Headlands Center for the Arts

Kari Orvik

california | visual
Graduate Fellowship Program 2012—2013

Artist Statement

Through portraiture, landscape and performance, I’m interested in the physical experience of making photographs – the relationships, time and location in which the images were made, as well as the materials and processes used to create the image objects themselves. Over the last year I focused my experience to walking on a tightrope and recording what happened through video and a 4×5″ camera. Making tintypes (a historical photo process) in a mobile darkroom produces a direct positive image, which can be no larger than the camera’s back. Within these limitations of size and gesture, I repeat the practices over and over to see where they lead.

While at Headlands

The Headlands’ studio would give me time away from looking at neighborhood change in an urban setting in order to consider change on a more personal level, weaving mental geographies with actual ones in the Headlands’ bunkered landscape. In 1953 my father wrote a book entitled The Decline of Neutrality, based on his experience of the Nazis occupying Norway in 1940 during World War II, when he joined the Norwegian resistance army. Through a combination of photography, video, writing and site-specific performances of walking on a tightrope, my current project Exercises for moving in between will explore the possibility of neutrality, or its absence, as an approach to changes over time in space, and as a way to mine the intimate layers of history contained in records of everyday experience.

Selected Works

Personal Website