Utopia

2013-2014


A Utopia was first described in Plato's Socratic dialogue, 'The Republic', where Plato shared the idea that if citizens learned the wisdom to eliminate poverty, they could become rulers. In this society, there would be few laws and wars, ultimately leading to a peaceful society.

The notion of Utopia arose again in the 16th century, with Sir Thomas More's book 'Utopia' which proposed an ideal society in the creation of the said name. The actual definition of Utopia has been confused over time between the Greek definition which means "no place" and the homophonic prefix meaning "good place.” The marriage of these two definitions assumes that the definition for Utopia is an idyllic place that does not exist.

In this series, I have constructed imaginary landscapes, with the intention to create a physical landscape which does exist, if only in the paper-imaged form. They are my response to the philosophical question of whether a perfect place can exist, bringing together life's dualities into a perfect union of beauty.

The albumen process involves simple egg whites as the base on the paper for light sensitive silver nitrate. Albumen, as a medium, helps to convince the viewer that these landscapes do exist, as our societal association with the 19th Century albumen prints were deemed true renditions of the time and place in which they were taken.

This ongoing series of images is printed approximately 6x8" on handcoated albumen paper, created in an edition of 9 with 3 Artist Proofs. Images are tiered in price and increase as the edition sells out. Prints are signed, dated, editioned, and titled on print recto.

© 2018 Jennifer Schlesinger