Inspired in part by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, artist Jim Kazanjian (previously) assembles foreboding buildings using snippets of photographs found in the Library of Congress archives. Equal parts secret lair, insane asylum, and the work of a deranged architect, Kazanjian’s collages are created from 50-70 separate photographs taken over the last century. Each piece takes nearly three months to complete as he painstakingly searches for just the right elements, a process he likens to “solving a puzzle, except in reverse.” From his artist statement:
I’ve chosen photography as a medium because of the cultural misunderstanding that it has a sort of built-in objectivity. This allows me to set up a visual tension within the work, to make it resonate and lure the viewer further inside. My current series is inspired by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood and similar authors. I am intrigued with the narrative archetypes these writers utilize to transform the commonplace into something sinister and foreboding. In my work, I prefer to use these devices as a means to generate entry points for the viewer. I’m interested in occupying a space where the mundane intersects the strange, and the familiar becomes alien. In a sense, I am attempting to render the sublime.