Catherine Wagner

Catherine Wagner

Abigail Cohen Rome Prize
September 1, 2013–July 31, 2014
Profession
Artist, San Francisco
Professor, Department of Art, Mills College
Project title
Reclassifying History II
Project description

I believe history to be an arrangement of thoughts and events throughout time created and sustained by historians, writers, and critics. As such, I intend to investigate and interpret the chronicle of Rome. I propose to photograph sculptural masterpieces both within and outside museum archives. It is my intention to focus on overlooked details, illuminating unwritten histories. Emanating from great works of art, my photographic reframing of banal gestures and moments held within statuary will create new paradigmatic narratives exclusive of historical understandings. Abstractions—the shadows of a robe or a beard or a finger pointing skyward—can create stories themselves, opening up the works to surprising meanings, overturning conventional views that usually guide their interpretations. My work, both bound to history yet freed by recontextualization, will support the possibility of reading new narratives created through representation.