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©Kit Kittle 2021

Since the 1980’s, I have been fascinated by the photography of bodies. A photograph of a person inherently imposes a perspective and usually also provide a point of view, if not an attitude. As a photojournalist, I found that the feeling of an image could be completely altered by approaching the subject using a different sense of priorities.

I have often thought about the possibility of projecting my photographs onto a human body as a canvas. A photograph I have shot before in some corner of the world now imposes itself and helps create a whole new image. I wondered how we would perceive it, what buttons would be pushed. In a way, photographing a person who is in fact the canvas behind a projected image enters a new realm of fantasy and surrealism, the possibilities limited only by the number of images ready to project and the feelings that arise when viewing them.

I began projecting images of flowers on a group of dancers from a nearby college. The dancers were flexible with the look of their bodies and were all so graceful. They knew how to extend their figures to help create the canvas required to get the shots I thought might be possible. But I wanted to push this idea even further

To do this, I bought a new digital projector and was no longer limited to work just from my aging inventory of 35mm slides. I was free to choose from the vast catalog of digital photos that I now work with, along with tens of thousands of scanned slides. The process of selecting the images to project became exhilarating as I left flowers and the underwater world behind and started to experiment. Not only was it thrilling to revisit my old work and see it presented in a new way but it also created the puzzle of where to go next.

I also connected with two aerialist acrobats. Their physical ability added a whole new dimension to my work. To my delight, the photos opened even more depth than the first batch. Sometimes, the bodies cause the original photograph to become distorted and at other times the projection disguises the bodies so that it is unclear what and how many bodies you are looking at. The visual effect is exciting for me, exactly the kind of mystery I love to play with.