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Images are created every day; some survive, some disappear. Those that survive end up on shelves, walls, or in museums—that is, when the image is considered a finished product. The concept of finished artwork has been with us for centuries, and yet, it has seldom occurred to us that images, be they human made or formed by nature may have a life of their own—regardless of the image makers’ intentions.
In 1976, while working on a film, I accidentally discovered that if two frames were laid face to face (superimposed), they would yield new images. As the frames were shifted away from each other, new images emerged. At first glance, my superimposed images did resemble a Rorschach test print, and as such could be dismissed as unimportant accidents. However, it turned out that these images led me to some interesting insights.
The birth and rebirth of an image.
Images in our lives are taken at their face value; because their status as finished works is not questioned, and they take on an identity of their own. However, by superimposing slides I found that images don’t have to be static; they have the potential to transform into a multitude of hidden images and meanings. Superimposition opens up a whole New World—a world where an image, after its conception, can generate new images—a birth and rebirth. Thus, a work of art is a container full of images and meanings of which the image-makers were unaware.
Superimposition and processes yet to be discovered should bring about new ways to understand a work of art. A painting no longer can be understood merely by its overt appearance, or by the language we have traditionally used to describe it.