“In 2020 I purchased and downloaded one of my father’s mugshots from a third-party criminal-search website for $29.99. My father died in 2009.” Photogravure print on hand-made paper. 20” x 24”
“In 2020 I purchased and downloaded one of my father’s mugshots from a third-party
criminal-search website for $29.99. My father died in 2009.” is a photogravure series
that engages photography’s historical relationship to criminology and mass
reproduction in newsprint. The photogravure is an early photomechanical invention
that burns a negative onto a copper plate to be printed, which is akin to biometric
data used in turn-of-the-century criminal identification. This iteration of “In 2020...” converts the artist’s father’s digital mugshot to this early analog image praxis. The
conversion into analog material is an effort to disrupt the mugshot’s permanence and
reproducibility in the digital landscape. Formerly incarcerated individuals are
subjected to after-life sentences through images produced and perpetuated online.
The impression-making of both the photogravure and the title’s embossed text
reverse the moment where analog image practice translates to digital by making a
finite negative and copy.
Dan Paz uses vernacular image production to consider exposure and the conditions of embodiment. Their multidisciplinary work brings a critical and aesthetic lens to the architecture of space, demonstrating how foundational techniques of image-making are inextricable from the environmental politics of racialized subject-making. Paz has exhibited widely, including shows in London, Amsterdam, New York City, Cuba, and Chicago.