Artist Statement – Janet Greco
The process of ‘seeing through’ my own eyes, or ‘looking through’ things, whether it is a camera lens, a computer screen, a windshield, a TV set or even a pair of sunglasses has always fascinated me. Using a loupe to view old film negatives, I am transported into another space and time. My current work, being mostly documentary in nature, digital, and narrative, is heavily influenced by the passage of time and the recording of visible and invisible histories.
Much of my work to date has focused on unusual lifestyles, celebrating histories, curious traditions and the disappearance of things. My intention is to document shifting conditions of the built environment, registering the passing of time and the sense of loss that this entails, in an attempt to capture the dynamics of modern life. My images explore the impact of the contemporary moment on concepts such as authenticity, memory and death. Persistent themes in my work question what we can and cannot see and how things change; as well as rituals and traditions related to the living and also the afterlife.
I record the world of subcultures. Immersing myself in environments of interest, I document them over very long periods of time. In Spain, my work has focused on the modern day persistence of religious rituals and rural traditions, such as the equestrian fiestas of Menorca which I have photographed extensively since 2003.
Across both the film and digital archive, my New Jersey photographs often show the lost or disappearing remnants of the places I knew as a girl. Solitary, contemplative scenes, might be tinged with the ironic observations a foreigner might have, obscuring the remnants of an abandoned past.