Ephemeral and mysterious, shadows have a reductive relationship to the objects that cast them. While a shadow is a direct impression of its source, it is a dramatic abstraction, as much its own thing as it is a representation. As in Plato’s Cave, shadows provide an allegory for our relationship to the world around us, and challenge our intuitions about objective reality. The physiological process of perception transforms and abstracts those things external to us. Even in direct perception, our internal image is a distinct entity from its external source. I try to mirror this transformative process in my artistic one, exploring ideas of representation and perception. Photography is a natural form for this conversation, given the prominent theoretical discourse around the relationship of the captured image to the original subject.
I photograph architectural spaces, particularly those with personal significance, such as my childhood home. I print and cut apart the photographs, reassemble them into three-dimensional structures, and then use them as stencils for light. I then photograph the resulting shadows. The process involves a back-and-forth of dimensionality between image and object. There is also a back-and-forth between large and small scale. As the larger pieces approach the scale of the original architectural subjects, they carry along remnants of their existence at small scale, such as the textural details of the walls on which the shadows fall. The final pieces include elements of the original subjects, abstracted by the repeated intervention of the camera and the artist’s hand.
After practicing as a healthcare attorney in New York, Marissa Geoffroy moved to San Francisco in 2014 to pursue her career as an artist full time. She completed her MFA at California College of the Arts (CCA) in May 2017. Originally a painter, Marissa's more recent work utilizes photography while maintaining certain formal and conceptual elements of painting. She is intrigued by spaces and architecture, and by the philosophical implications of human perception.