Male nudes are my long running joke about the world's superabundance of naked pictures of women. Picture me at a rental darkroom and some slightly condescending photo-dude asks: 'what kind of work do you do?' and I say 'male nude photography'. Without missing a beat, this guy will say 'Oh really? I do FEMALE nudes.' But I also like to take pictures of the sun, because I was expressly told not to one time.
Poetry deconstructs and slathers love all over the formal aspects of language and words, and painting does the same. Why wouldn't you put all the elements into play in photography? Pit the chemistry, the paper, the film and the enlarger into a death match where it's not clear who is going to survive. The outcome doesn't matter as much as the process of inquiry; this isn't abstraction it's exploration. The scientific demands of the photographic process necessitate a lot of rule-following. Best not to become too docile in the mind, though. Like Carl Sagan says in the Backbone of the Night episode of Cosmos: (sic.) too much conventional thinking isn't doing anyone any favor.
Mariah Robertson 2009
In Take Better Pictures Mariah Robertson exhibits a series of unique photographs, formed through the accidents and experiments of the printing process, composed in large oversized frames. These works do not present a departure from the personal or representation, but an appreciation and celebration of the immediacy and possibility these two qualities provide.