Diane Meyer is a photographer who is interested in what she calls the failures of photography. They cannot fully preserve experience and personal history, and at the same time photographs transform moments into nostalgia that obscure understandings of the past. In her work she embroiders into images in order to further obscure details and understands of a place and time. By cross-stitching into the photographs she is essentially pixilating the images. These images come from three different series that each talk about ideas of memory, nostalgia and trying to make sense of time and place.
The Berlin Series:
In this series Meyer photographed along the former path of the Berlin wall. She was particuallarly interested in photographing places where there was no visible trace of the physical wall, but were still subtle clues of its past (incongruities in architecture). In this series the sewing mimics the unnatural view that would have been created by the wall.
In this series Meyer uses images that are of a more personal nature. In this series Meyer strives to have the embroidery convey the idea of the human brain trying to retrieve information. She also believes that “The tactile, hand-embroidered overlay not only relates to the digital aesthetic, but also hints at the growing trend of photos remaining primarily digital—stored on cell phones and hard drives, but rarely printed out into a tangible object.” The embroidery certainly does bring to mind the action of trying to recover memories, or the idea of how memories can deteriorate over time. However, I didn’t get the idea about the relation to the digital age. I feel that these images are more about nostalgia and don’t think they go so far as to make a commentary on the nature of our digital age.
The Landscape series:
In this series Meyer uses images that are taken during significant points in her life. Meyer explains “the repetitive action of cross-stitching becomes a futile attempt to make the fleeting memories of life permanent and ingrained. This series is also in progress and will ultimately function as an archive of various experiences arranged by location.”