Anamorphics include work in a variety of media that shares the use of systematically distorted imagery to privilege or challenge certain points of view. Points of view are taken both in the literal sense of perspective, and conceptually. Through the anamorphic technique, imagery is squeezed, bent and distorted until it’s representation content is lost. Finding the right view pops it back into a representational role.
Anamorphic distortion creates an unrecognizable result, often abstract, grotesque, or baffling, perhaps appearing as something unrelated to its original. When viewers discover a key viewpoint– sometimes via a mirror, peephole or simply a privileged viewpoint in space– the distortion is resolved into a seemingly natural image. The perceptual popping-into-place is like a small revelation, and once the mind seizes that recognition, it is impossible to let go.
The conceptual potential of anamorphics is to speak of hidden organization or double meaning in a visual structure, or immanence in the metaphorical realm. Jackson’s anamorphic imagery works in two ways– either presenting the raw visual material of an anamorphic distortion directly while providing an opportunity for viewers to discover the privileged viewpoints (as in Gape or Rift/Strait), or using anamorphic imagery as an element within a photograph where the camera’s position takes that key viewpoint. In this second approach, the ‘popping’ of the anamorphic material is involuntary and produces a strange tension, with parts of the image pressing against the flat surface of the picture, trying to escape the illusionistic context in which they were photographed. See such photographic works as The Flaw, Flight for Life, or Blossoms at Sunrise, in the Still Life & Tabletop project.
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