“Made over a two-year period, Fragment (1986-1988), by the American artist Laura J. Padgett, explores the interior of a single room through a rapid montage of domestic items and abstracted surfaces. Shot on black-and-white 16mm, the film continually returns to a pair of hands (presumably the filmmaker’s) seen alternately washing dishes, leafing through a book, and casting shadows on a nearby wall, as whispered voiceover, bursts of negative imagery, and subtle adjustments to the aperture conjure a tactile sense of an increasingly alien-looking space. With three-plus decades of work to her name and a pair of new, very different films elsewhere in the Crossroads program, Padgett is clearly a subject for further research.”
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“Fragment” was presented at CROSSROADS 2020 San Francisco Cinematheque
curated by Steve Polta
Complete Program: http://www.sfcinematheque.org/festival/crossroads-2020/
Laura J. Padgett’s work explores unoccupied spaces, both real and imaginary, to reveal truths that are often overlooked. Like her subject, her work itself inhabits the spaces between photographic storytelling and installation, between language and image, between history and current affairs. While she uses photographic media the results are always more than photographic objects.
Since the nineties Padgett has produced a wide-ranging body of work, adopting various genres such as architectural photography, still life and urban street photography while exploring our ideas of communal and cultural identity.
Laura J. Padgett’s work is often displayed in public spaces and plays with scale, material and the way we interpret images and their relation to history. The breadth of her work demonstrates an ability to move fluidly between genres, based on her background in painting, art history and architecture.
all images copyright © Laura J. Padgett 1987-2020