Pressure Plates, 2019

The inherent material and conceptual foundations of photography serve as starting points for Gina Osterloh’s entire oeuvre.  For her steel plate text works, Osterloh considers the simple etymology of the word “photograph” as “light-written” or “to record with light.”  Each steel plate is sized to traditional photo dimensions of 14 x 11 inches. Words are formed with a welder’s torch, considering the act of writing with bright hot light on a metal plate akin to photographic processes, as well as the intersecting histories of steel and photography as structural, technical and cultural forces.  The steel text works further explore juxtapositions between mechanical reproduction and the artist’s hand, as well as written language in relation to the photographic image.