Combining camera-less photography and lens-based works is a bold move, one that questions and challenges what photography can be, and Justine Varga demonstrates this interrogation throughout her practice.
The series Areola presents repeating images in various stages of development, where the decisions made during the development are the focal point of the work. Additionally, the latticed window, a nod to the earliest surviving negative taken in 1835, shows Varga's acknowledgment of the past but determination to reimagine contemporary photographic processes.
Photographic paper, like skin, is porous and resilient, and in this series, Varga has imprinted her own pigment-stained skin onto negative surfaces. This skin-on-skin process reveals folds and creases not unlike the anatomy of the namesake this series refers to. Utilising tactile manipulations of the material surfaces she works with, Varga touches, smears and inverts negatives, layering and overlapping exposures to visually retain evidence of this physical process.