Brittany Metz employs moving image, video stills, cyanotype, altered magazines, and sculptural collage to explore the nature of our experience and perception through the interconnected concepts of time, ephemera, and present-mindedness. The bridge between these concepts spans their shared emphasis on impermanence and, accordingly, the importance of appreciating the present.
Memories may capture some aspects of the ephemeral past, but they are by nature incomplete, fading over time and shifting with each recollection. By separating vernacular snapshots from their captions and framing the subjective descriptions instead of the subjects themselves in her suite of cyanotype prints, Metz underscores the fragility, transience, and impermanence of experience. The medium formally emphasizes this ephemerality, itself a metaphor of evanescence as an alchemical capture of the shadows of objects.
Though the present moment is fleeting, by cultivating present-mindedness, we might better take things as they come. Metz works to capture the current through meditative making of altered images and constructing forms. Utilizing stream of consciousness, typing on a vintage Smith Corona typewriter to usher the unmediated moment, Brittany’s altered magazines emphasize the impression of images in the intimate voice of interiority.
Her constructions—mixed media sculptural collage of found objects, paper, and photography—engage in a dialogue with found object art, or objet trouvé, using everyday objects, discarded and unaltered, as art materials or subjects, further exploring transience of the material world. Centered in the moment of making, these works are formal explorations of design which operate as visual meditation, striving for harmony among elements.
Metz’s moving images transcend the divisions among sculpture, print, video, and sound, stretching the space between the lasting and the fleeting. Working in the vein of contemporary artists like Sarah Sze, Metz offers a multisensory vehicle for contemplation and meditation in her moving image series Presence, and in the projected looped video, Still II.